Phodiso Mpotokwane, a returning writer, is a young man from a small village in an even smaller country. A holder of a BA Hons International Business degree and an award winning varsity debater, he has a passion for value importation. Phodiso is involved with non profit organizations that include Orate Africa and Purple Crown Society and attends Methodist Church. His passions including writing (when he actually forces words on to the word processor),Instagram and studying the gift of life. Enjoy!
Wentworth Miller. Heard of him? No? Neither had I until there was a Facebook meme (Social media again…#GrassGreenerOrJustFilter) poking fun at his weight gain post shooting ‘Prison break’. The joke went something along the lines of ‘What happens when you escape prison and find McDonalds has a special on’. Admittedly I didn’t find the joke funny, not because it was poking fun at another human being but simply because it as funny as unemployment. HOWEVER, other people DID find it funny and the subject of the joke felt it necessary to ‘clear the air’ on the nexus of the whole thing.
As the narrative goes Mr. Miller during Prison break was a slim guy with a toned ‘prison breaky’ body who then suffered from depression and turned to food for refuge. As most of us know, each human body has a set number of calories it can take and burn in any given time frame and exceeding that number leads to the excess being stored as energy (colloquially known as fat). Turning to food to deal with depression is good and fine until/unless you start hitting and exceeding your tolerable levels of caloric intake and when that happens you tend to expand. And that’s what happened to Mr. Miller; he expanded a little. And by a little I do sincerely mean a little. Listen I’ve been fat and I’ve been slim and what that picture showed was a man who put on a few extra pounds without ever really looking unhealthily big.
But therein lies the problem; our standards are downright impossible as a society.
Somewhere along the quest of trying to admire and emulate the rich and famous (which in itself is problematic for a whole HOST of reasons) we have allowed the entertainment industry’s standards of beauty to rub off on our appreciation of what God has created within each of us. What has then happened is the images we are bombarded with of toned, muscular, perfect-pearly-white-toothed, washboard ‘abbed’ dudes with biceps bigger than most of our thighs, have led us to believe that is the NORM for humanity. And as we know, our minds crave to be normal therefore we assess ourselves based on this ‘norm’ and find that we fall short of being acceptable. Unfortunately for us what the pictures don’t tell you is that the cameras have extremely sophisticated lighting, there were fifty other photos which didn’t make it to print, the said people have kilograms of make up on their faces and their daily diet consists of salads with water (distilled reverse osmosis water with lemon skins and mint; because ordinary water just won’t do). Ponder that for a minute. Salads and water only, everyday… Not a fast, just your life.
But allow me to indulge you anyway. Assuming you still feel its perfectly reasonable for us to judge ourselves based on the top 10 percentile of really REALLY ridiculously good looking people aka the outliers, then consider the following question; does pursuing their ideals improve you as a person (holistically, not merely physically) and does it make you feel fulfilled?
Does wanting to look like Beyonce improve your finances, your relationships, your spirituality, your emotional development and so forth? Assuming you could look like Beyonce, then what?
Look I love Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and I admire his work ethic, personality and body. BUT all that packaging is in aid of his career. I Am not a Pro Wrestler and am not a movie star (though some have said I should be, cc; Michael Bay) so for my life, going to the gym 6 times a week, hiring a world champion strength and conditioning coach, eating more fish than a whale and sleeping for 4 hours a day would be a bit…silly. Sure it would be great to look good and all but what does it benefit me and bigger still, what would it do to my psyche if I believe am failing at this grandiose goal I’ve set myself?
So how about this; next time you look in the mirror and feel a little insecure about your body just remember that you are wonderfully and fearfully made.
Besides, your physical appearance pales to the soul- which is the REAL enduring you anyway. How about we work on beautifying the eternal rather than the temporal?
With love, PM.