Do you secretly dream about having a body that is just like a supermodel’s? Maybe it’s time to think again…
Some of us really want to look like those skinny supermodels on the catwalk, but fortunately, in recent years we’ve seen an increase of more physically trained models in the fashion world – something that may mean that we now have more realistic and healthy ideals to strive for.
The new model ideal breathes confidence and femininity at the same time: she is strong and physically fit, with visible abs and shapely legs – but still with curves and shapes in the right places. We may become jealous of the models’ sleek bodies, but we also admire them for their dedication, motivation, and that they are always in top form, and because they choose to exercise instead of starving themselves to be as thin as possible. They inspire us and make us believe that if we just trained as hard as them we could look just as good too! The only question is how long will it take and how much training do we need to do?
There are a lot of supermodels who admit that they are pushing themselves to the limit to reach a certain ideal physique.
There are a lot of supermodels who admit that they are pushing themselves to the limit to achieve the shape they need for an upcoming tour or photo shoot, they torment themselves by practicing really hard twice a day for several months and stop eating solid food weeks before they start and, scarily enough, reduce down on fluid intake the last few days to avoid antibodies binding to liquid to make the muscles look more prominent. These models may look healthy when they show up on the catwalk, but the question is how healthy are they really, and what damage do they cause to themselves in the long run by pushing themselves to the limit in this destructive way.
“It need not be detrimental to train twice a day. Female athletes at the elite level are training much harder than models, but they are still role models for women, “said British PT Dan Roberts. “If your job requires you to be in top shape – whether you’re an actress, model or athlete – you have to sacrifice the time required and train hard. However, you can never forsake your diet! Your body can be damaged if you do not provide it with proper nutrition, and therefore it is important that you have a healthy attitude towards food. Proper nutrition also gives you much better results in the long term.”
Unfortunately, it is too high a demand for on many models, and many therefore take drastic measures to keep their jobs. However, not all are lucky. Fitness model Jacqueline Freeman admits that she “thinks about what she eats one week before a photo shoot,” but also says that what drives her to keep in shape is her role as a group instructor and her love of exercise. This also prevents her from resorting to drastic means to stay in shape, because she is afraid of her body. “I’m also the kind of model that does not need to have the extremely fit or thin look and therefore I do not have the same pressure on me as many others. As a model, it is intended that I should look like a wholesome girl, and I do that by living a good and healthy life. “She is horrified when she thinks of the models who work with lingerie and fashion, and who are forced to seek an unrealistic ideal in the form of stick-thin bodies because the boss believes that’s what the audience wants to see.
The blogger and former model Bailee Roberts agrees that advertising and the advertising industry is largely to blame for these distorted ideals. “It’s frustrating to think that the model world puts girls in various categories, such as fashion, plus sizes and fitness – but the category ‘sound and healthy girl’ is sadly lacking,” she says. “Why isn’t that our ideal – to have a normal body shape, to be neither under-or overweight with a healthy body? Why we do not see those models in the ads? If that was the case, models wouldn’t have to push so hard to look a certain way, and then ordinary girls would no longer try to copy that super-thin look. In other words, we’d all live a much healthier life!”
Get a beautiful and healthy body
Try to find the best version of yourself, instead of striving to look like someone else! Work with your body and be sure to have realistic models that match your body shape and your height.
Eat healthily. Starving yourself is not a strategy – it is a disease. Eat more vegetables and protein and cut down on the fast carbohydrates. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
Work out with weights. Strong is the new skinny! Don’t be afraid to use weights – muscles and strength training will help you to quickly reduce your fat levels. At the same time, weight training is an exercise that gives you a shapely and attractive body in a very short time.
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About the author – Alex Wilson is a Nutrition Adviser for Health & Fitness Centres, Melbourne