Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Thought stream on exercise and true love

One of the worst parts about hanging around my gay friends in the gay enclaves of Malate is seeing all the dressed-to-the-nines gay men strutting their stuff. Tight tees, tight pants, buffed bodies... some of them might as well put a "Shag Me" sign across their bulging pectorals (or gluteals). While the sight of well-developed bodies (male or female) is quite pleasing, especially for an illustrator like me who strives for a bit of anatomical accuracy in his works, I can't help but ask for reasons. Why exactly do people work out?

There's the most popular reasoning connected to health. It is said that if you strengthen your abdominals, back problems borne from old age are minimized. Regular aerobic activity is good for the heart, and sweating purges one of most accumulated toxins. This is all good. But one doesn't have to stuff in all that muscle to achieve improved health, right?

I will say here that I work out to look good. Damn, I wanna look good. The health benefits are secondary, really. And this is coming from a person who doesn't doll up out of habit. Bulk of my budget goes to bills, or food, or ciggies, or coffee, and fashion updates are very rare. Yes, looking good as a reason for working out oozes insecurity, a displeasure over the way I look, especially when I find myself in Malate. Heck, finding that 'special someone' is difficult enough as it is, so instead of facing the mirror and reeling over the sight of this ugly thing, why not I do something about it? Change what I can change. I want to look good for me.

Which, naturally, brings in the topic of the nature of true love. How much of the physical is involved in 'true love?' When a guy intends to court a girl, the typical line of reasoning would be, "I like her personality." Lucky girl, even if she looked like a toad.

But seriously, if an aesthetically-challenged woman finds herself in a beautiful and satisfying long-term relationship, she's perhaps one of the luckiest people alive. She knows that her man loves her for who she is, not what she looks like. And somehow we all would want to be the toad princess who lives the happily-ever-after tale.

As for me, I'm gonna continue working out in the pursuit of looking delicious...for me. Been doing so for almost a year now, and it's been worth it. Had to stop because of Zsazsa, but with Part Two's current status, it looks like I'll be hitting the weights again soon.

Yes, it sounds vain. But we could all use a bit of vanity now and then.

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