Monday, May 17, 2010

Super Heroes and Barbie Dolls

Below is a blog by Darren McDuffie of He recently asked if I would guest write a babble for his blog; I asked the same in return. Darren is a personal trainer in Florida. I like what he has to say and have quoted and shared some of his ideas in previous babbles.


I went to see Iron Man 2 last weekend...great movie by the way! I also saw the first Iron Man movie. Hollywood usually “botches” the second effort, but Iron Man 2 lived up to the hype. I just hope they don’t start to beat the sequel thing into the ground like the Friday The 13th movies. It really got to the point where Crystal Lake needed to dry up and Jason needed a rest. Who can kill that many people anyway? Doesn’t it get boring?

Why do superheroes always have perfect bodies?

As a child, I would play with my action figures for hours on end, and I can remember wanting muscles like they had. I thought everyone grew up to have a thick chest and arms that looked like big pieces of pot roast. I also noticed they had skinny little legs... what’s up with that? All muscle up top and no legs! How could their body carry it all? Now, I have skinny legs -- that’s one thing I can say manifested from my superhero dreams, but I am still waiting on the superhero body transformation kit, not to mention the xray glasses I ordered way back when. Once I get the kit, I can finally get the chest and arms I have been wanting for years. I don’t think I need the xray glasses anymore, and I think my girlfriend would smack the “beejeezus” out of me if she knew what my intentions were for using them. Anyway, if my superhero kit and xray glasses end up in your mailbox please forward them to me down here in Florida. them.

My sister played with Barbie Dolls. What girl didn’t? I remember I would get mad at her and tie a string around her doll’s neck and hang them over the closet door. Yeah, I know I was MEAN, but there are no feelings spared between brother and sister when you are young. I love my sister dearly now, but we had our “fall outs” when we were younger. I always got the best of her by the way because I was the most devious and heartless. One of the things I hated the most was seeing her play Barbie Dolls with her friends. They would sit for what seemed like forever doing the doll’s hair, serving tea, and putting clothes on the doll with the perfect body. Yes, Barbie had the perfect body! The perfect legs, the perfect hips, and the perfect arms.

We are too old to believe in Superheroes and Barbies now, aren’t we? I would like to think that is a false assumption, but I think it's only partly true. Let me explain. I think people know we can’t fly or see through buildings, but some really do think there is such thing as the perfect body. They want that Barbie or Superhero body, and they beat themselves up when they can’t get it. I have heard comments from women who say, “ I wish I had her body,” or “how did she get a body like that?” They then go to the store and buy a magazine to follow the next new workout plan that some hot starlet’s $2000 an hour trainer designed. Men are no stranger to this either and fall for the same thing. I remember spending loads of money on Body Building magazines only to realize at 6’7 I would never be a bodybuilder because most of those guys were just above midget height, and packing on muscle was easy for them. I never realized that certain things were just natural for my body, and my body was uniquely mine. Have you come to that conclusion yourself?

Image and perception are totally different. Barbie Dolls and Superheroes are an image put before us by people like us, who are imperfect. It’s up to you to take that image and perceive it in a different way. You can take something you like about someone and say, “I would like to have slimmer thighs like hers.” You may never get her thighs because your body type can be totally different then her body type. You can’t have his arms, because your arms are different than his. You can work to make your arms bigger, but they won’t look like his because they are unique to him. As a trainer, I see many people who miss this point and end up feeling discouraged because they can’t look like so and so. If we all looked liked so and so, the world would be a pretty boring place, and I would be out of a job! Models and actors are nice to look at, but most were born with flaws, just like you and me. TV and magazines accentuate the good and not the flaws. If you accentuate the positives with your own body, you can be happier with the shell you are in. Who knows, you might just have someone that envies you.

See you on the lean side,

Darren McDuffie

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Certified Nutrition and Weight Management Specialist
Certified Exercise Foundations Specialist
Certified Fitness Testing Specialist


Michael Rivers said...

Great post. Very important info to remember.

Jeanie said...

A very good and fun to read reminder about being honest and realistic with ourselves. As to looking like Barbie or a super hero, well, we have to remember that they are plastic.

Weighting Around said...

Actually, I did see a girl with a Barbie doll body the other evening and, you know, it wasn't even attractive! Her waist looked dangerously small and her legs were set farther apart than normal, just like Barbie. My body is far, far from perfect but I love the fact that I am making it the best it can be.