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Exercising for male attention?

Discussion in 'Female Health & Fitness' started by Cocomartinez, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Cocomartinez

    Cocomartinez Active Member

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  2. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Yark:

    I'll just put it in terms of one experience I had in the gym. A woman came over to me and asked about dumbell rows. She had been doing a really sensible workout. She probably came over to me because I look like Santa Claus (which I do) and that's a pretty non-threatening look.

    Here's the point. She was doing an excellent workout, but she was concerned about very minor technical issues. I told her that frankly the only thing she was doing wrong was using about a third of the weight that would make sense. She gave the usual "don't want to get bulky, just want to get toned" answer. Frankly, this woman didn't need any help at all with looks; although not a stereotypical exaggerated movie/television body, she would give anyone I've ever seen a run for their money in the "girl next door" category. I told her never mind cosmetics, just lift for health and comfort.

    She didn't take it the wrong way, but I think she didn't really believe me. But unless she lives in an area blighted by head injuries, she should be one of the more attractive women wherever she goes. And yet she was letting her sense of how attractive she might become get in the way of her exercise program. I'm not saying that's typical, but I have the suspicion that it's pretty common.

    One of the realizations I had from working on Wall Street for 20 years was yes, there is a competition among a lot of women for men perceived as powerful and successful; and a competition among many powerful and successful men for stereotypically attractive women; and the thing that strikes me the most is that the prizes in that competition, in both directions, are fools gold. I suppose that's a lot easier to see now that the circumstances in the financial world have changed and stripped away a lot of masks.

    I think all people should exercise, including resistance exericse. And it really ought to be prioritized by health first. At least that prize is real.
     
  3. SaintofGamblers

    SaintofGamblers Active Member

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    "As much as it pains me to write this, a primary motivating factor in getting women to exercise is their looks. "

    Its not any less true for guys though. Ask any of the dudes who are trying to come down from being overweight, and a common thread you'll find is 'i got to stop freaking out the women!'

    Dont mean to be a jerk ladies, but it's 2009. Can we finally admit that women are just as shallow as men when it comes to looks? We sweat and sweat for your approval too.
     
  4. Carole

    Carole Well-Known Member

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    :)We should “ideally” exercise for health sake I do totally agree but confess this was not the motivating factor in my eventually adopting a lifestyle that I would/could never think of changing now. Having been late to the gym at age 57 my motivation WAS for appearance (I didn’t feel old but I was certainly beginning to look old and ‘stooped’) and because of a sudden realization that if I didn’t take steps to preserve the strength I had I was essentially “throwing in the towel” and saying ok I’m ready to become old and frail.

    Now, and here’s the part where I’m going out on a limb………. ……….I confess I do now wonder why so many young women in the gym today spend hours on end on the elliptical machines and glute steppers, ENDLESSLY (often times ignoring other muscle groups completely) ‘working on their tushies’. Tushies I might add that are, by virtue of youth, already pleasantly ‘perky’ and won’t, ‘fall’ tomorrow morning as a result of muscle atrophy or give way, given just a little attention, to gravity for a number of years. The conclusion I am left with is….like the caption under the pictures of the young ladies sweating on treadmills & running at midnight in Men’s Health (and I would suggest, endlessly working those glute machines in my gym) “It’s all about men”.

    But wait there is a caveat………I’m not speaking here of those young women who are in the gym to lift for ‘strength/vitality’ and do a bit of ‘heart health’ cardio!!

    Obviously mine is just a conclusion………I could most certainly be wrong!;)
     
  5. tsk2264

    tsk2264 Active Member

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    My motivating factor to begin exercising was 99.99% for health reasons because it was going downhill rapidly. However, these days I cannot deny that a big part of what keeps me going is the countless ways the 'superficial' aspects of my life have improved. I'm 38 years old and I was actually carded at 7-11 the other day when buying a pack of cigarettes for my wife. It's quite an ego boost!
     
  6. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Oh absolutely!

    But I agree with the author. I don't think you can simplify it to say it's about the men. Or even about sexual opportunities. It's about the power.

    It's no secret that people want to spend more time with and do more things for physically attractive women. The closer that any of us (male or female) can get to looking like an ideal specimen, the more opportunities of EVERY kind that we will have, not limited to intimate relationships, but extending to social and professional advantages as well. Because we're judged first by looks, and then, by everything else.
     
  7. Carole

    Carole Well-Known Member

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    :)I would take exception with your comment to the extent that in truth I don’t find women ‘defer’ to me as a result of my appearance……….in point of fact I sometimes feel exactly the opposite where women are concerned. I think I shall have to ‘gently’ disagree and reiterate………..It’s all about men………IMO (but not necessarily in a sexual context)


    I think I need to amend my comment inasmuch as the “women” to which I refer are “women” close to and in my own peer group, as I generally find younger women, who would/could think of me in terms of “why she’s as old as my mother” or even “ she’s as old as my grandmother” ALWAYS charming and accepting.
     
    #7 Carole, Jan 30, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  8. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    Nothing wrong with working out for looks. No ones personal motivation is superior. Everything develops a negative tone when taken to extremes. So long as a person can balance their life effectively and live productively, who cares why they do what they do?

    Shame on Men's Health for their insensitivity in their ads, but honestly, is anyone surprised? Pushing the envelope in pursuit of new lows is what mass media is generally about, anyway.
     
  9. J_W

    J_W Well-Known Member

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    When I started exercising it was because I hated what I looked like and it had a profound effect on my self-esteem. If I didn't care about looks, then I wouldn't be trying to shed some excess fat right now. I'm already pretty lean and my motivation sure isn't health, it's pure vanity :p. I'll also freely admit that I care a lot about how a guy looks. If his physique doesn't appeal to me, then I'm not going to be interested in pursuing an intimate relationship with him.

    The ads are weird and insulting in that they seem to enforce the idea that it's only women who work out to look good, as though men are somehow "above" that. Furthermore, as guava pointed out, I don't think it's just about intimate relationships and it's not just about men - we try to look good in order to compete with other women as well, and not just in the mating game but in the professional world, too. So while the ads are offensive and misleading... it doesn't mean that there's not some truth in them as well. And I'm a bit tired of people pretending for the sake of political correctness that looks don't matter (in whatever context).
     
    #9 J_W, Jan 31, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  10. Speedster

    Speedster Active Member

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    Disagree and I'll leave it at that. :)
     
  11. Speedster

    Speedster Active Member

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    My take: OF COURSE people exercise for looks, among other things. It's evolution. Nobody is attracted to 400-pound people. Well, maybe some, but not the average person. I'm not trying to be insensitive, but it's evolution. It's the reason why animals have specific evolutionary attractors. Peacocks have their feathers, ya know?

    We have our bodies and our inherent features from basic genetics. We can't necessarily change our faces (without surgeries), but we can sculpt our bodies.

    Hell yeah, I'm a dude and I want to look fit and buff because I want people to be attracted to me or impressed with the way I look. I'm not afraid to say it.

    But I also do it because I don't want to die early.

    I of course don't want to get political on here, but I'm pretty liberal and read the Huffington Post all the time and very much hang out with very liberal people and one thing that really gets to me is how utterly over-reactionary they can be about any little thing. OK, so there are ads about women working their asses off to look good for a guy. So what? If a woman wants to do it, it's her choice. It's like reverse feminism these days. If anything can be remotely viewed as sexist, it doesn't matter if the woman is totally fine with participating (like, women who are models or strip, or are in porn, etc.), a very liberal woman, who is likely one of my friends, will just utterly FLIP and decry the situation.

    I'm all about personal freedom and if my wife wants to do something for HER and she's happy with it, that's her choice and shouldn't be the choice of another woman just because she thinks it's wrong.

    I think we're in a society now where we understand there are disparities between the sexes, between races, etc. I like to think that we're moving toward that better society that doesn't have to worry about those things. Slowly but surely. The faster the better, of course, but just like with exercising, we must be patient.

    OK, I'm basically rambling now. But my point is that a woman isn't a sheep or totally brainless merely because she wants to look good, whether it be for a guy or herself. I think that's ridiculous. Why can't it be both ways? And I think for many women, that is the case. It's not one or the other and very rarely in life are issues that black and white.

    *off my soap box*
     
  12. Speedster

    Speedster Active Member

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    Can I also say that I don't at all understand why a MEN'S HEALTH ad is focusing on women. With the explanation given by the author of the article you get one point of view as to why it's there.

    I was sort of thinking that maybe the ads say: "Hey, guys, if you read Men's Health and get fit you'll have women working their asses off to get with you, so read Men's Health!"

    Maybe I'm wrong. I just don't understand why these ads are trying to get women to work out or read Men's Health or whatever.
     
  13. Cocomartinez

    Cocomartinez Active Member

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    As a liberal I´m afraid I´m going to have to ask you to be more sensitive to sheep in your remarks. :p
     
  14. Speedster

    Speedster Active Member

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    I eat sheep for breakfast.:eat:
     
  15. Zilla

    Zilla Well-Known Member

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    I think my IQ just dropped a few points just reading that article.

    So I'm supposed to believe that if I'm not working out to impress men than I must be in the game to impress women. How does that work exactly? The majority of women I know think sweat is disgusting and vile, therefore no woman should be caught doing so. As far as guys are concerned, the only one that I would like to be impressed would rather spend his time reminding me that I will look like a ape some day, so that theory can go in the trash as well. That guy in question would be the one I've been married to for 13 years.

    Meh! I wish had so much free time to analyze ads....
     
  16. KoNcEpT61

    KoNcEpT61 Active Member

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    haha i exercise for both reasons.. impress my girlfriend and to get fit lol
     
  17. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    Professional reasons -- yes, most definitely. There's also the matter of social status and class. I hate to put this in writing, but poorer people are fatter; higher status people are thinner. Who knows what the causal relationship is. Certainly it is easier to shop at Whole Foods and pay for a gym membership and maybe even a personal trainer if you have a decent income. But it's also more difficult to get a job that pays well if you are overweight and unhealthy looking. Since women are more vulnerable economically, it is just a fact that they have had to rely on their looks more to get ahead. But in a competitive market, and now in a recession, this worry extends to men as well.

    In general, people (myself included) want to look both sexy and accomplished. I don't know if that's sad, or not, but it's certainly true. For those of us (all of us here) trying to attain this look in a healthy matter, the pay off is great. So so-what that we are motivated by shallow things?
     
  18. Akira-Kai

    Akira-Kai Well-Known Member

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    It may sound really corny but my main drive has always been, "can I really look like that?".

    I'm one of those people who just needs a real challenge - something to focus on - that ISN'T about money for a change! The aquistion of wealth these days is pretty much a non-starter!

    I also only like to look good for me. I cannot see a time in the near to medium term when I will ever knowingly expose my torso to anyone except my wife (except in cyber world of course) - and she would rather I remained fat to help make her feel better about herself.

    If I was still single, however, I know my thinking would be a whole lot different!
     
  19. KoNcEpT61

    KoNcEpT61 Active Member

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    "and she would rather I remained fat to help make her feel better about herself."

    ..really?
     
  20. Doubleoqueso

    Doubleoqueso Active Member

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    First impressions are superficial, as a persons appearance does reflect what's inside to some degree. Fitness is indicative of character, specifically discipline and self control. Obesity visually and immediately signals the absence of these traits, if only in dietary habits.

    In the absence of power or influence, why would you trust someone who doesn't have the wherewithal to handle their own body to work for you or be a good mate for you?
     

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