After not joining any fitness and aerobics center for about four years, two days ago I reregistered myself to the fitness center I used to be the member in 2000-2002. Some reasons why I do it again; first, in my age approaching forty years, I believe that I really have to take care of my health more seriously than before. No doctor doesn’t suggest to do exercise to maintain health, do you agree? Second, of course I want to slim down my body again after my weight rose till more than 6 kilograms since I left this fitness center around four years ago. Well, it is not really scary number, is it? Only six kilograms. However, coz I am not really tall, that number shows a very significance impact on my body. Besides, the fat all over my body really made me feel uncomfortable to move, and of course also to look. LOL. I cannot wear my old clothes either. My jeans number 27 are idle now, inside the wardrobe. J I must admit that my busy schedule for studying in my Master’s Degree really made me not able to maintain my “healthy habit” to do exercise crazily. I am not an athlete but during those two years, 2000-2002 I could do aerobics or swim or fitness seven times a week. With a lot of assignments to read books, to make papers, to prepare some presentations I really couldn’t spare time to go swimming regularly. Moreover, I still had classes to teach, to augment my income, to make my ends meet, frankly speaking. :-D
Well, here I am, a member of fitness center again. I must say that I always feel reborn with my study; from a conventional woman with her “old-fashioned” way of thinking to be a radical feminist, a real deconstruct. In the past (read à before getting to know feminism ideology) I never felt ridiculous to try to follow the idea standard constructed by society (that a woman must be slim, pretty, weak, ladylike, feminine, smell good, LOL, graceful, just like those women in The Stepford Wives movie to make men “fresh” to see us, LOL, to attract their attention).
On the very first day I joined the aerobics again, I asked myself whether I did it to make my body healthy or in fact, I just want to conform to the social norm that a woman is supposed to be like what I have mentioned above? Well, I must be honest to myself. LOL. I looked at the other members of the fitness center. Some are around my age, I suppose, some are older, and many others are younger than I am. I have never asked them whether they join it to slim down their body for health reason or for appearance reason, to make men attracted to see them. LOL.
Well, if I relate it to the second wave of feminist movement in the 1960s America, most feminists encouraged women to really “leave” their previous “place”, home—with its cooking and doing laundry activities. They encouraged women not to look feminine. To be a homemaker was a despised thing to do for feminists in this era. It means, don’t try to follow those social norms that a woman was supposed to be gentle, weak, slim, pretty, wearing dress, graceful, etc. A “modern” American woman was supposed to look like men, wearing suit with trousers, bowtie, not dealing with household chores, and worked outside home professionally. And like men too, women were not supposed to be worried about the fat around their body. :-D They didn’t need to bother their outer appearance.
It does sound ridiculous now. A woman is supposed to have freedom to choose, right? They are free to decide whether they want to (still) look feminine, ladylike while at the same time pursue career outside. Or a woman is free to choose to stay home, taking care of children and husband, doing household chores without losing their “identity” as modern women. As known in multicultural feminism, in some ethnic groups, to be a homemaker is a luxury thing that not all women can get. For them, to be “modern” is to live idly at home while their husbands work to support their needs.
The appearance of four leading characters of serials The Sex and the City is the emergence of the modern feminists by the end of twentieth century. Different from their predecessors around four decades before, Carrie Bradshaw and her three good friends offered a new lifestyle. They are economically independent. They are hard-working women with very good career outside home. And they still look feminine.
Well, thinking about this, I became a bit relieved. LOL. Why should I care for this trivial thing? I joined the fitness center again to keep my body healthy, or merely to slim down my body to look more attractive. LOL. I will not lose my being feminist only by slimming down my body, right? LOL. Just take the positive side. If I can slim down my body, I can wear my “old” clothes that I have kept in the wardrobe for some time coz they no longer fit me. :-D
(Oh Nana, please be more mature? LOL.)