The human species has a peculiar relationship with fatness. One century voluptuous figures are all the rage and the next thinness is in vogue.
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) cashes in with his art of full-figured women. A whole term has even been coined for his art form – Rubenesque. Urbandictionary.com defines Rubenesque as “applied to a woman who has similar proportions to those in paintings by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens; attractively plump; a woman who is alluring or pretty but without the waif-like body or athletic build presently common in the media”.
Fast-forward to the 19th century. Sabrina Strings, author of Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fatphobia, published this year, states that in her research she found that thinness has been a mainstream archetype in the US since at least the early 19th century. However, Strings’ book concentrates on the American slave trade and therefore its relationship with colour and fatness.
Many people who are afraid of being fat can and have resorted to unhealthy habits to maintain or acquire a slim waistline. Such thinking and behaviour are not fair on one’s body.
However, there is a flipside which can make weight issues heavier than they are. Society tends to cast a jaundiced eye at fuller figures. Researchers, RD Govender, S Al-Shamsi and Dybesh Regmi, in a study published this year, found that psychosocial factors such as weight bias affect the eating behaviour of overweight and obese people in South Africa. This research, which was conducted in Durban, also found that the 100 participants were not happy with their weight and 77% felt discriminated against.
Two people can start a fitness journey at the same time but their results will ultimately be different. This journey is truly personal. It’s not a competition.
These fitness instalments #Trending features aim to encourage readers to go at it at their own pace. This time we will have four workouts and the skipping rope exercise will be done after each workout.
- Set your timer for 20-second interval training with eight rounds of three cycles and 10 seconds of rest. Add a 30-second break after each cycle