Perfect bodies on television create false illusions

I’m so sick and tired of seeing those ridiculous, fake Bowflex commercials, among others, on TV. The ones that have models with perfect bodies and perfect tans, with skin glistening like that’s what you really look like when working out.

They need to run a disclaimer with those advertisements saying that what you see is not normal. It’s obviously not as simple as “work out on me, and you’ll look like this.” The people you see on television “using” the machines did not look like that from the product. Working out is just a part in having a great-looking body, and we sometimes forget that.

There’s a whole variety of things that men and women do to look their best, including steroids, muscle enhancers, diet pills, plastic surgery, and so on, but many people forget that what you eat is as vital to your body’s physical presence as working out and lifting weights is. You simply cannot build a full body without the nourishment your muscles need to grow after you tear and shred them up in the gym.

I also know that you need the right type of exercise suited for your body. For example, I’m skinny so I’m not going to go out and run four miles. It doesn’t help my situation because that only makes me lose more weight when what I want to do is add it on. Don’t get me wrong, cardio is all good, but only when you know how much your body needs. It’s the same thing with lifting weights. Building muscle differs totally from keeping weight on which differs from trying to cut fat and lose that gut.

What’s unfair when you see fitness models and even celebrities looking so damn good is that they have the money to hire a personal trainer who keeps them on the best exercise plan and diet because their jobs depend on it. Most people aren’t required to look good but they want to for whatever personal reasons of their own.

Can you blame them? Especially living in vanity-filled Miami, where all you need to do is look around and see the overabundance of people looking like they just stepped out of a Sports Illustrated magazine. And don’t even get me started on South Beach where the guys are practically popping out of their shirts and the girls can barely keep their skirts on their hips. It’s nice to live somewhere and have so many people looking good and going out and flaunting it. But at the same time, the fact that it’s always in our faces can be frustrating, especially when you see some glossy, mechanical commercial that makes looking good look so damn easy.

Derek Bramble is a senior majoring in Broadcast journalism and Theater.

October 29, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

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