“Is Strength the New Beauty? ”

Nov 08, 2010
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In a culture overwhelmed with images of beauty and perfection, how does the average person achieve the seemingly unobtainable goal of being beautiful?  Can every person regardless of his or her genetic predisposition be deemed attractive or good-looking?  With freeway signs advertising plastic surgery and Botox injections available to any person in possession of a credit card – I would argue that perhaps as a society our definition of beauty has become a bit skewed.

I would like to propose a different definition for beauty such as ‘strength’?  Muscular strength is a very empowering and beautifying attribute to have.  Anyone can build muscles regardless of their age, ethnicity, job title, disability etc.  It doesn’t require money or fame to build a strong and powerful body, just dedication and time.  A person who can lift, move, exert power and feel strong in their own skin and bones is beautiful.  There is no universal measure for strength, it is a personal achievement solely determined by the ability level of each person.

For a person living with a disability, the need for strength in their daily lives is tremendous – in fact for many people with disabilities, muscle strength is the key to independence and to enjoying an improved quality of life.  The reality of the strength training is that much like exercise, it is something that everybody needs to be building to speed up his or her metabolism and offset the aging process from a physiological point of view.

I work in a fitness center that is designed for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.  In this center, the members do not define success by a number on the scale or by fitting into a smaller size of jeans.  The members of this facility are working to gain strength and independence in whatever way they define those attributes for themselves.  Their goals are impressive and their dedication and perseverance matches up to any professional athlete around.  I challenge you to celebrate what you have between your bones and your skin – and to use it everyday because a strong body is a beautiful body!!

Author: Elizabeth

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