A Comparison to See: Watching the Documentaries Thin and Baby Faced Body Builders

Series: “Accepting Our Appearance”

A Comparison to See: Watching the Documentaries Thin and Baby Faced Body Builders

 

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LET’S THINK…

WHAT DETERMINES OR THREATENS OUR SELF‑IMAGE?

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Gender differences create socially‑accepted gender norms. The Barbie and Ken type of beauty, with men being fit and muscular and women being pretty and skinny, is prevalent in Westernized culture.

In fulfilling certain models of beauty, both men and women are at risk of living by the standards of their appearance. Men can develop manorexia, as they desire to resemble model mannequins or they can develop bigorexia, where they’re obsessed with their muscles and lifting weights because they are never satisfied with how “big” or “ripped” they are. Women tend to be preoccupied with being skinny, which highlights the notoriety of anorexia or bulimia.

When we become obsessed with our bodies, we control our appearance by either minimizing our weight or by overcompensating for what we feel is lacking. Of course, we should be aware of what we consume, how we treat our bodies, and what motivates our self‑image; however, if our body‑image becomes our self‑image, gauging how we see and value life, then there’s a problem.

The documentary Thin is filmed in a Florida clinic and follows women diagnosed with eating disorders.

The documentary Baby Faced Body Builders is filmed in the United Kingdom and follows three teenagers who live to bulk up their muscles.

Both of these documentaries present a behind‑the‑scenes look into the reality of disordered logic and restrictive habits. Many of the films’ participants confess what made their appearance a central part of their lives, along with why or why not they see their lifestyle as dysfunctional.

We have the right to live as we choose, but it’s important to note how maladaptive thinking and behaviors affect our quality of life.

We are all unique. We deserve to be appreciated for our differences. Our self‑image should not be valued by how well we can replicate imposed archetypes of perfection.

We must be honest and learn to look out for ourselves. If we know we’re doing something wrong, we should do what we can to restore order. When we face our fears, we can conquer our weaknesses.

Don’t be a victim of vanity. Value who you are.

Your life is in your hands…be kind and take care of yourself.

best friend

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8 thoughts on “A Comparison to See: Watching the Documentaries Thin and Baby Faced Body Builders

  1. Hello
    I am thinking about taking pro hormones, do you think this is good idea for advanced bodybuilder like me?
    Bodybuilders are satisfied with the results after prohormones cycles,
    just google for – 100% pure muscles without side effects
    – worth a try?

    • Hello,
      Although I’ve had no personal experience with these hormones, I’m an advocate for natural supplements, if possible. Most importantly, as with any health regime, your attitude and intention of taking such hormones is extremely important. If you’re going into this with confidence and security, then be sure your mindset stays that way! When it comes to issues of the body, it’s so easy to get convoluted ideas about how you look, as well as how you wish to be seen by others.

      As a suggestion, talk to your physician and get a second opinion. Please, do your background research and check out the authenticity of whatever testimonials you’re referencing. Nowadays, anyone will sell something with the claims that it’s going to help, but it’s your responsibility to double check the facts!

      Overall, your health and well-being are essential, so if you start to feel your self-esteem disintegrate, do yourself a favor: reassess your priorities.

      I put up these documentaries to show the lifestyles and risks of those who focus too heavily on body image, but that doesn’t mean you and your journey have to end up badly. You are in control of your body and you decide your destiny. Stay positive, open-minded, and love the person you are, along with the beautiful being you’ll become.

      Keep me updated on your transition, I wish you the best!

      Thank you for your comment!

  2. Thanks for this post! Living shouldn’t be determined by anxieties centered around what we look like, or how we perform (i.e how much weight we can throw up in the gym). Eat to fuel your body so that you can have a powerful, positive impact in the world! Exercise because you enjoy the act of doing it in itself, not because you want to be or look a certain way!

  3. Um I’ve done both. My body is paying the price for body building. I never made it far enough to even think about going pro because of the eating disorder. I think I started that particular obsession because I had a desperate need to be strong, to be able to fight back which is a natural response to sexual trauma. But I also had a need to disappear so it was hard. I can still knock out a fair amount of pushups but my muscles have mostly wasted away.

    My personal trainer did his thesis on men who continued to see themselves as small despite how big they got from working out. They typically get addicted to steroids and just get bigger and bigger and bigger. They see themselves small just as we, with anorexia, see ourselves as huge.

    • A common misconception with body image is that women are the only self-conscious ones, but men are too! If we feel the pressure to look a certain way, we can fall into a brutal battle with ourselves.

      We have to be mindful of healthy, functional boundaries. When we surrender to anything outside ourselves or our personal needs, we risk falling into obsessive behavior. Our issues manifest into certain behavior and if we dig deep enough, within ourselves, we’ll see why we act they way we do; there’s always something deeper.

      I always wondered what motivated women body builders. Your personal reasoning makes perfect sense! I love how you mention, “[Bodybuilders] see themselves small just as we, with anorexia, see ourselves as huge”, because that’s the truth…it’s all a matter of the mind. Body building can turn into an obsession, just as anorexia can.

      How much do we control? How much do we let go?

      Our minds can lead us to do and see things that don’t make any sense, yet make perfect sense at the time.

      Disturbingly fascinating…

  4. Very uplifting message. I also believe everyone must embrace their unique beauty. We need to stop comparing ourselves to unhealthy and unrealistic standards of physical appearance.

    I will definitely be checking out “Thin,” especially since it’s filmed so close to home. I’d also recommend “America the Beautiful” on Netflix. It really points out how perverse we’ve become in determining what is “beautiful” in society.

    • Truth! We compare everything because we need some validation to whatever we’re observing or experiencing; yet, if the need to compare outweighs contentment, we’ll never be satisfied. When we blatantly deny our own issues, our standards for living a full life become convoluted and contrived. What a shame to waste our lives, enslaved to such trivial pursuits.

      The “Thin” documentary is dark, but very enlightening. You can find direct access through the link, so check it out!

      Thank you for the film suggestion! America is all about beauty, perfection, and more, so I imagine the work must be strong.

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