Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The version of your body currently running is not bedroom compatible

My gym is running some kind of 6-week body makeover butt blast boot camp bangarang. That's not what it's really called but you get the idea. It's especially for women. It says so on the flier. Also on the flier, central to the message and in large red type, are words to the effect of:


Now, the gym runs these kinds of things all the time, in which they propose to bulk you up or whittle you down or generally bring you up to code in a specified time period. This is the first one I've seen geared specifically to women. And it's also the first one I've seen that seeks to gently encourage participation by reminding people women that they will have to get naked for someone's enjoyment, and for the sake of that other party, they'd better get their asses in gear. Or no man one will want to sleep with them. And then what would their lives become? Why else would you want to get in shape anyway, womanperson? For sport? For functional strength? For your own damn self? Stop speaking nonsenses!

Presumably, men don't need bedroom bodies*. Their fitness activities are in pursuit of more lofty ends. Hunting! Fighting! Watching cricket with their shirts off! And since women have to sleep with them anyway (everyone in this hetero-normative dreamscape is 'straight', ok? Just play along), there is no minimum aesthetic requirement involved for men.

Also what we've learnt so far is that a "bedroom body" is of a particular type produced in a gym or other exercise situation. Somebody should tell that to the bodies everywhere that are at this moment getting into some pretty enjoyable situations in their bedrooms, garages and crawlspaces right now, and have no intention of changing their bodies in order to continue doing so. If this describes you, you are hereby advised to cease and desist, until such time as we have certified that you possess the appropriate, bedroom-approved body.

It's true, I suppose, that "a bedroom body" could mean something more all-encompassing: it could simply mean a fit body of any size and shape that allows you to - as a friend of mine likes to put it - spin on your headtop during sex. But then, nobody's asking a man to spin on his headtop. I guess he and his non-bedroom body can just lay there.

And what annoys me most about this stupid poster - when I have to see it every single morning because it is affixed to the changing room door at my eye level - is that it does not reflect what I always thought were the philosophy and behaviours of the staff at this gym. They've always seemed very inclusive about women in sport, women gaining strength just because they feel like it. They've always seemed to have a pretty open "we can all do anything we want" mentality, inclusive of men, women, the elderly, people with disabilities, everyone. But now, because they are letting this stupid poster speak for them, I have to acknowledge that somewhere, someone in this establishment either does not get it, does not think, or does not care. And since I spend some time there, time that I otherwise enjoy, that's a bit of a downer. Still, always one who's eager (w00t!) to embrace the all too familiar "humourless" tag, here I go tomorrow morning. To ask what that mess there on the changing room door is all about.

*I asked if there was a similar poster on the inside of the men's changing room, and was told 'no' by a jolly fellow who is also a member, and who added, "darling, any man that got a body, it ready for the bedroom."


  1. "darling, any man that got a body, it ready for the bedroom." LOL!!! ahahahahh!!!!!!!! ah!

    I coming back in 5 to read that again.

  2. "bring you up to code in a specified time period"

    That's the best, most brilliant articulation of the dehumanization implicit in posters like the one you describe.

    Thank you for that.


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