This was a great piece- I wonder where the whole ‘working out as one more form of masochism/obligation’ was created.
I always thought of the target market for the “6 Moves to Get Rid Belly Fat for Bikini Season!” articles were a weird subset of neurotic women that we all pretended were real, and were our worst selves. Because I don’t feel an obligation.
“I love it when a plan comes together.” Having a strong and slender physique is how I feel balanced. Aligning my appearance to be in alignment with my aesthetic values assists alliteration. But also, it’s integrity. If I start to get chubby, there’s something wrong, and I’m not being true to myself. It’s a wake-up call.
Paying attention to aesthetics, organizing my environment and person helps end depression, increase feelings of competence, presents the idea that someone is engaged with life.
Why would that not be something everyone wants? Why would that be an obligation?