Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sexist, Ageist, Fattist, Pretty-ist Saturday

So yesterday was the Muay Thai Marathon. I was puyat the night before and I feel the week's stress taking it's toll. Plus, the GX room aircon was busted. I don't know if one of those things, or a mix of all those things, but I was just not in my combat mojo yesterday. I was slow and tired and literally dragging my arms and legs to follow the tracks. I could've just gone out of the room, stayed in the lounge to read the papers or gotten baked in the sauna -- but I stayed. I hate that feeling when I bail on a class and then figured our later that I could've gotten my second wind. Long marathon story short, I amazingly finished my 2 hours. Albeit a little too sloppy and ungraceful, but technically I still made it in one piece to the end of the class.

My sexist, ageist, fattist story goes like this. Marathons are usually team classes. You have a few instructors taking turns, leading a few tracks at a time. The last chunk of the marathon, a new girl went on stage. I have been doing marathon for quite a while so I knew a pretty good number of instructors. I know the ones who teach the Eastwood classes and some of the ones who guest-teach. But this new one, I've never really seen. It was kinda weird there was no warm feelings of welcoming from me for this girl in the pink spandex. I'll tell you why. Maybe you'll feel the same after my word picture.
Pink Spandex Girl (PSG) is a middle aged woman, probably in her late 30's and um, not in perfect combat form. Now, you're probably asking, what is THE perfect combat form? I would say toned thighs, prominent jawbone, firm arms, and unbelievably flat tummy. Now I know that sounds unfair. But lets go on with the word picture. PSG has muscular thighs, but in a muscular-thighs-that-look-too-chunky-for-a-woman kind of way. It's muscular but it has that jiggly thing going when she does knee raises. Arms not too firm, and much like the muscular thighs have a pretty attention-getting jiggle to them. I am completely aware that this has MEAN written all over it. This is where my v brillian (according to me) title comes in. The fitness world is a cruel place to be, most especially for those who are supposed to be the fitness gurus i.e. the group exercise instructors. The group classes are sexist, ageist, pretty-ist, and fattist.
What is an ideal group exercise class instructor? This will sound unfair and to a point ridiculous, but for some odd reason, this is the unwritten rule to this profession. The ideal group exercise instructor is male, young, unbelievably toned, and good looking.
You see the truth to this rule when you observe which classes are the most packed. Check the instructor heading the class and he most probably fits the bill, this bill. The good looking bit is pretty relative since this is all a matter of taste, but the male and the young and the unbelievably toned -- all non-negotiables.
So PSG is still right in front on the stage, doing her thing. And I must say, she is pretty good at what she does. She knows the tracks pretty well, she is brimming with energy, and she knows how to hype the class. But yeah, the group still has this non-warm, to some point pretty smug welcome, if that's at all a welcome, for her as she leads the class. You ask why? At least as far as I'm concerned, its because she's -- one a girl, two older than than 25 (or at least she looks like she is, err sorry i'f you're only 23! Heehee), three has those jiggly things, and four well um, beauty isn't her best. So you see right there, I am a girl (trying to rationalize the non-warm welcome for her) but I feel this way about her too. That's in your face sexist, ageist, pretty-ist, and right smack fattist.
I think about why I write about this. I'd like to think not to correct, much as I'd like to I also know how it's gonna be futile. And much as that is a lame reason, it also is a bitter truth. I also think neither to condone. I'm guessing as an acknowledgment of things that happen. Yeah, it can get pretty cruel.
You think PSG knows this?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...