Why is the assumption always that if a person is exceptionally good looking, fit, and prides themselves on the personal dedication and discipline needed for being so, that they are necessarily compensating for a lack of “depth”, personal, or emotional intelligence? Why should outer beauty necessarily imply inner ‘brokenness’? Can’t a person be both physically and emotionally healthy?
I find it fascinating that it’s often the same people who tell you “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover” in regards to a less than physical ideal (being polite) and personal merit, are usually the first people to tell you how “shallow” a person must be if they devote what they “see” as too much time to improving their appearance. I’ve been a bodybuilder for over 20 years now, my brother competed on the amateur circuit when we were younger, I’ve met a lot of fitness competitors and just average men and women who pride themselves on their physique, and I have to say the majority of them were very positive, intelligent and psychologically healthy people.
People who look good, generally, exemplify the hard work and conviction that’s necessary in staying that way. It’s not just the physical that makes them attractive; it’s the subconscious understanding of the dedication necessary to be so that’s attractive too. When you look better than the norm, especially in an era and culture where 66% of the population is clinically overweight, there’s an ambient understanding that it takes a mind for dedication and conviction to be so. That’s not to deny that some people don’t hit the genetic lottery jackpot, but largely, maintaining a great physique is the result of a focused effort.
The gym is the perfect environment for sexual equalization from a physical standpoint. In a club or at a party or any other social gathering our masks are on; we can hide deficits more easily with clothing, the lighting and sounds is conducive to giving us more appeal, our inhibitions may be altered due to alcohol, etc. But in the gym all of that is out the window. Oh, women attempt to hide their fat butts with sweat shirts tied around their waists, but everyone is sober – in fact we’re in a better than normal state of awareness from the exercise – both sex’s physical deficits and assets are out in the open.
It’s Darwinism at its finest and both sexes strive for attention in some form or another. Guys can only rely on their physical presence & prowess, and whatever Game they possess to impress since there’s generally no way to judge a man’s socioeconomic status in the gym. Women are stripped to a primal physical competition where they’re judged on their physical form which is men’s primary criteria for mate selection. This is why you commonly hear women complain about ‘hating’ going to the gym and why female specific gyms are profitable; it has less to do with the actual exercise and more to do with an inability to cope with the intense competition present on a level that most are unacustomed to in other social environments. This is why there is such a market for ‘women’ only health clubs such as Curves and Planet Fitness (yes PF gyms are for women), in fact I’ve yet to encounter a men’s only gym and I’d speculate that this is due to men experiencing far less intimidation in a gym setting.
I really wish I could type away here and tell you about all the hotties I see at my gym everyday, but that’s simply not the case. I can tell you I’ve seen a drastic change in the women who populate the “fitness clubs” now, and it’s not for the better. I’m sure I’ll read someone in the comments relate how they have gorgeous attention whores at their local gym, but that’s simply not my experience these days. The women at the gym NEED to be in the gym. Mostly overweight, mostly self-conscious, I can tell by the effort each post-Wall woman exerts as to whether they’re recently divorced (or planning to be). Just on observation, I see far more men in MUCH better shape than the sample of women present. I’d guess it at 80% – 20%, and that’s here in Florida, I can just imagine what it might be in other regions. Even the cardio and zumba classes are overwhelmingly filled with thick soccer moms, “doing it for fun”.