I think this was a well written post and I completely agree with the points that you have stated. Our society indirectly and directly controls the way people should behave and for that reason even things like the gym are socially constructed. The weight lifting room is “naturally” seen as a place for ‘muscular’ and ‘fit’ men to lift heavy weights while the cardio room seems and feels more feminized. The inclusion of televisions on each machine for shows to be watched and the endless piles of women’s magazines create that sense of comfort and belonging for a woman. This may all seem natural and fitting however we must de-naturalize this notion and see where this notion came from, and how it started to circulate. I would argue that it came from the social and cultural constructions of what a ‘feminine’ body should look like versus the ‘masculine’ body. In our society, a woman’s definition of fit and toned is completely different than the definition of a male. A woman that goes to the weight room and begins to lift heavy weights is all of a sudden considered unattractive and ‘masculine’ to the opposite sex. Why is it constructed to be this way? What if a woman wants to lift heavy weights to challenge herself or simply because it is her goal, or even just because she can? Why should these disciplines not allow women to lift weights? Why should the gym be divided like that? It is something people would have to overcome because if a woman feels the desire to work out at the weight room she should not feel uncomfortable to do so and should disregard these constructions in order to feel satisfied and fulfilled (although easier said than done- the power of the ‘gaze’ is quite strong). These things are also seen in other areas as well. For instance, I do hot yoga and there are lots of males that attend these yoga classes too. Many would say that it is more for females and it would think that it is more ‘odd’ to see a male at a yoga class as opposed to a female. This is also a construction, why couldn’t it just be seen as a human wanting to achieve a goal and engage in a healthy lifestyle?
Overall, despite these social constructions I think it is very engaging and inspiring to see people go against these social constructions and discomfort and engage in something that brings them happiness, fulfillment and enjoyment in life. One should not let society discipline to act a certain way just in order to ‘fit in’. It was nice to see that some women like the personal trainers that came to our class were able to show a lot of confidence in something that they know is viewed down upon in our society. I also agree that there lots of stereotypes and stigmas come to place as soon as a girl looks at the back of a food item for ingredients to see the nutritional information. People usually just assume that the girl tries to lose weight because she is affected by the media. However, there is a huge difference in wanting to engage in a healthy lifestyle and being affected by the media. Another thing that I have learnt throughout my life time so far is that we should not be affected by what people say or do because we are individuals and should always follow what we enjoy and feel compelled to do. Overall, I really liked your post and I completely agree with the points that you stated. Good job!