Statistical evidence indicates that fitness activities become more popular in the United States; in particular, approximately 50 million Americans attach importance to physical exercises (McClain 410). This is why they choose to join various health clubs. So, one can argue that this tendency is a very widespread phenomenon. It is possible to say that the main cause of this tendency is that many individuals associate fitness with physical attractiveness and success. They attach importance to the behavior of various celebrities who often set the standards of physical attractiveness. Apart from that, physical attractiveness is one of the factors that can contribute to their success in various areas of life.
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Admittedly, in many cases, growing emphasis on fitness can bring several tangible benefits such as longevity and decreased risk of various ailments. Furthermore, such activities can significantly improve the wellbeing of people. This is one of the causes that should be considered. Nevertheless, the growing concern with physical attractiveness is one of the main forces that lead to obsession with fitness. These are the main questions that should be examined more closely.
Overall, contemporary culture sets rather high standards of physical attractiveness for both men and women. These standards are reflected in various films, musical and commercial videos, posters, fashion magazines, and so forth (Taylor 183). Many people are exposed to these media messages since childhood. In addition to that, they continuously pay attention to the examples set by famous athletes or movie stars who embody the ideals of physical attractiveness.
These individuals have been able to attain success and fame. Therefore, many people want to imitate their behavior. To a great extent, these celebrities act as role models, especially for adolescents. It should be mention that this argument is supported by the surveys of many people who note that their body image is the main concern for them; this is why they attach much importance to physical fitness (McClain 410). These examples show that popular culture can profoundly influence the opinions of people, including their attitudes towards physical fitness. It can affect the worldviews of people representing various age groups. This is one of the points that can be made.
Additionally, one should bear in mind that physical attractiveness is one of the factors that significantly increase people’s chances of success in various areas such as employment. The problem is that in many cases, some individuals can evaluate the character traits, values, or even professional qualities of other people on the basis of their physical appearance (Taylor 183). Those, who reach the standards of physical attractiveness, are more likely to become successful in terms of their social relations or their career (Taylor 183). So, these examples illustrate that there are external pressures that prompt people to focus on physical exercises. Certainly, they do not openly state that physical attractiveness is so important for them.
Moreover, they may admit that they attach importance to physical attractiveness while selecting employees or assessing the character traits of other people. However, empirical evidence shows that physically attractive people enjoy preferential treatment (Taylor 183). So, many individuals attach much importance to physical fitness in order to raise their status in the society. Nevertheless, even if this growing pre-occupation with physical exercises is driven only by this motivation, this tendency is a very positive phenomenon that can minimize the risk of various ailments. This is one of the details that should be identified.
Certainly, there are other important reasons that should be considered. In particular, many people understand fitness can bring several health benefits which have been described in many books or magazines. For instance, one can speak about the reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and greater life expectancy. More importantly, this activity can significantly improve the experiences of these people.
For instance, they are less likely to be affected by fatigue or stress. So, there is internal motivation for pursuing healthy lifestyles. Such individuals are not necessarily driven only by popular culture. Nevertheless, one should not suppose that people focus only on health benefits since they often pay much attention to the opinions of their friends or relatives who comment on the benefits of physical activities for attractiveness of a person. For instance, they want other people to notice that they have been able to reduce their weight. This is one of the issues that should not be overlooked.
On the whole, this discussion shows that obsession with fitness might have been caused by several contributing factors. In particular, people pay more attention to the behavior of individuals who act as role models. They set the standards of physical attractiveness and success. So, in this case, one should speak about the strong influence of popular culture. Furthermore, people understand that physical attractiveness is one of the criteria according to which their personal or even professional qualities can be evaluated.
Certainly, one should mention that many individuals are better aware about the health benefits of physical exercises. Moreover, they are not always guided by the standards embedded in the popular culture. Yet, the concern with physical attractiveness is a more significant factor that contributes to this tendency.
McClain, Sheila. “The Fitness Culture.” The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing. Ed. Rise
Axelrod. New York, Bedford, 2010. 409-414. Print.
Taylor, Jim. Your Children Are Under Attack, New York: Sourcebooks, 2015. Print.