At 37 years old, I have the most body fat I’ve ever had in my life. Except, possibly, for when I was in my mid-20s. At that point, my teenage metabolism had all but stopped and the weight was creeping on faster than a basement flood in spring.
This month has witnessed a sustained hullabaloo regarding images of “fit” women. First there was the storm of controversy surrounding the photographs of Lea-Ann Ellison, a CrossFit aficionado shown lifting weights while 8 months pregnant, discussed in my previous post. Then things really got heated when Maria Kang, a 32-year-old fitness instructor, produced a poster of her scantily clad self towering above her three young children while challenging the viewer with the taunt: “What’s Your Excuse?” Attracting millions of hits and thousands of comments, many people felt bullied by this picture of a beautiful, young, and clearly fertile woman with washboard abs. Others admired Kang’s chutzpah, declaring that those who criticized her were likely lazy, fat “haters.” Surpassing the media frenzy inspired by Ellison, Kang received international attention, even appearing on major television talk shows. Despite the sheer quantity of dialogue, for the most part it was limited to asking audiences to take sides either for or against Kang. This lack of thoughtful engagement is par for the course in today’s world of unsophisticated journalism. Yet it was also predetermined by the dominant message encoded in Kang’s self-promotional poster. Her aggressive question “calls out” a particular kind of spectator, namely someone who does not work out and therefore looks nothing like Kang. Continue reading
Photographs of Lea-Ann Ellison, an American CrossFit enthusiast, recently attracted global media attention. A reader sent me a link to the story, asking for commentary, and I am happy to oblige. While I do not want to blather on about pregnancy, especially since I am currently six-months preggo, I think that gestation is not the only issue in these images. Continue reading
I am moving up the stairs as quickly as I can, motivated by the vision of DYT’s taut buttocks ahead of me. If my lady ass can become even half of that, it will be worth it. DYT is much faster than me on the stairs, which makes sense because she is 18 years my junior. At least, that’s my current excuse, and I think it’s a good one. Continue reading
Sarah Waurechen is an early modern British historian who researches political culture, but writes about teaching – at least as of late. Check out her blog at http://sarahwaurechen.wordpress.com/ [Aside by FFG: I have written a guest post for her site in a “blog swap.” It’s called “How Teaching Has Made Me a Better Writer.”]
Ok, so I totally have imposter syndrome writing this, and here’s why. I’m 31 years old and until two years ago, I had only ever been in a gym twice. Continue reading