Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 25, 2016

Final Post 1 "Do enhanced athletes create body image issues"

Enhancements in sports is always a topic of discussion due to its effects on the health of athletes and the disregard for the spirit of pure competitive nature. However, as I have recently been learning more about a sport that gets less publicity when it comes to enhancement, I realize there should be a much more important discussion going on.  What is unique about this sport is that enhancement is usually accepted as fact by its informed fans, or (on a worse note) naively believed to be completely natural by its other fans. The sport i'm referring to is bodybuilding. It is basically the pursuit of the perfect muscular physique with the lowest amount of body fat possible with maximum aesthetic appeal.


Stars in this sport such as Ronnie Coleman (above) have inspired thousands if not millions of people to pursue bodybuilding or fitness in general. Many (but not nearly all who do) have confessed to using enhancements such as steroids. While this doesn't appear to be a problem as it is only for temporary use,  problems do arise when we think of the ethical implications of the goals set by the fans of bodybuilding ,and what lengths they will take to achieve them.  An even better question to ask would even be this-what was the inspiration behind those doing the inspiring and the sport of bodybuilding in general. Some would say that it is the toy industry particularly: Barbie and He-Man (see link below). The bodies that barbie and He-Man have(along with their toy counter parts) relate very closely to the bodies of super skinny super models or enormous body builders. While some would disagree that there is any ethical relevance to this point, if you think about the fact that these bodies are impossible to attain by every person and that obsessions are built upon the constant glorifying these images, you would realize that the measures by which some people will go to attain them will be extremely unethical. Many bodybuilders have died of heart conditions due to steroid use, people's arms have literally broken open due to the use of synthol( oil injections in order to give large appearance). The reality of genetics is also ignored which creates delusions in people's minds which can only lead to more destructive measures to achieve superior physiques. The stigma attached to having the body of one's dreams seems to overtake people as they blindly pursue what cannot be obtained naturally. There are even eating disorders associated with these desires. Muscle Dysmorphia is a disease that is basically the opposite of anorexia where men will do whatever necessary to gain weight to attain a larger, more muscular frame.

This disorder is usually associated with steroid and synthol use as well. Basically, there needs to more awareness on this form of athletic enhancement. It hits closer to home because unlike other competitive sports, many people are deceived to believe these enhanced physiques are attainable by regular people which is simply a lie that must be exposed. There are even psychological factors beyond eating disorders to consider such as depression, substance addiction, and outright delusional obsession. This could even lead to oppression of the less enhanced if these sort of measures or standards of body image become prevalent in society. The health risk are to great which is why I believe that there must be more attention put on enhanced athletes not only in bodybuilding but in all sports in general.

 He-man/Barbie video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oW7Nt5FO1M

Synthol use and arm explosion video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvWMkgyvH_g

1 comment:

  1. The health implications, physical and mental, are disturbing. And who knows, this might be a gateway "drug" - thinking of Arnold in California - to politics. (Only half-joking.) Hardly a harmless private diversion.