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Fat athletes, skinny models and sexism

Posted on Monday, November 7, 2011 in Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Self image, Women

It’s really odd for me to be inside the house on a beautiful sunny fall day, like yesterday. It’s even weirder for me to be watching TV inside the house on a beautiful sunny fall day. But the 49ers were playing, and if you know what’s been going on with the Niners, you’ll understand.  

Plus, I was snuggled up next to Sean so even if you don’t know about the Niners, if you’re a woman, you’ll totally understand.

“Wow, those guys are friggin’ huge!” I said to him, noticing the size of the defense.

“They want them big.”

“But, that’s so unhealthy! Why are they so big?”

“Because no one’s going to get past them.”

“So, the teams are OK with that?”

“There’s a controversy around it, but yes, there’s pressure to supersize.”

Supersize? Guys who are 300 pounds are beyond supersize!

It’s amazing what people will do to their body for their career.

Like models. Despite some rumblings of rejecting the use of emaciated models on the runway awhile back, most models still are ridiculously skinny.

We hear a lot from women about the insanity of super-skinny models and how that affects girls — do men feel the same pressure about their body?

There seems to be some sexism going on.

OK, most men don’t need to pack 300 pounds to do their job well. But look at the covers of some men’s magazines and you’ll see what a man “should” like — broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted, totally ripped. Evidently, these images are now causing guys as much body image problems as women have. You just don’t hear too much about it.

Why do we, men and women, freak out about how female models have to starve to make it, women who are just “doing their job,” and not male athletes, who also have to put their bodies through intense modification to be successful?

If you’re packing 300 pounds you’re stressing your heart as much as a heroin-addict-like super-skinny model — either way, it’s just not healthy. But, as they say, it’s a living.

  • Should we be as upset about what males have to do to their body to succeed as we are about women?
  • Do guys feel pressured to be perfect from the impossibly perfect images on men’s magazine covers?



Bring on the comments

  1. briansays says:

    it starts even earlier than pro football
    if you watch college football you see these kids over 300 lbs and they aren’t even 21

    the issues is do they keep fit
    while playing ball they will
    the kid from Alabama says he can bench press 475 lbs
    be when the career is over they will unfortunately not and the training routine slacks off but they don’t shed the weight and it will turn from muscle to fat

    for the rest of us non jocks we have a bit of an advantage over the gals since for many the work attire is the suit and tie which enables us to hide the girth better than a woman in biz attire

  2. A dude says:

    I think the difference is that it doesn’t mess with men’s minds so much- we don’t care about images in men’s magazines (well at least those who don’t read them don’t, and only a small percentage of men read “Men’s Health” kind of magazines whereas I don’t think I know a single whoman who doesn’t read some sort of woman’s magazine, even if just in doctor’s offices.) And football player’s physical health issues from supersizing doesn’t extend to the general populace (well not in the same way!).

  3. Kat Wilder says:

    Brian — Not only do they not shed the weight, but the have practically crippled their body. They’re our modern-day gladiators, but no one objects because we say, her, they’re getting paid a lot for it.

    Dude – I was about to say “I don’t read women’s mags!” but then you added “even if just in doctor’s offices.” Darn you! I’m busted. But I saw recent studies that indicated guys are increasingly struggling with body image issues, we just don’t hear too much about it.

  4. Kat Wilder says:

    Guys can gain #weight to play #football but #models can't lose weight for the #runway? Isn't that #sexism?