Thursday, February 25, 2021

What’s wrong with MY arms?

February 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Body Image

This guest blog post is from Roni


This is a repost of a Question of the Week I wrote on Roni’s Weigh last year with a few edits.

There was a recent post on the DIR blog about “Getting Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Sleek Yoga Arms.’” that for some reason outraged me. That’s a strong word and I may be using it because I’ve been TRYING to get Jennifer Aniston style arms for over a year (actually my entire life). I work my butt of at the gym. I can easily do 25 push ups. I recently accomplished my pull up goal. I can bench more then half my body weight and my trainer calls me “diesel” for God’s sake. I am strong, fit and confident. I’m active and I love it. So why in the hell do I need to compare myself to anyone. Jennifer Aniston isn’t me. I am me, my arms are fine and that’s O…K…

When will I learn that?

I realize women have constantly been trying to become someone else’s idea of an “ideal” body. Even our concept of our own “ideal” body is shaped and morphed by our culture and what we, ourselves find attractive. Do I find Jennifer Anniston attractive? Of course. But that doesn’t mean I have to compare myself to her. Why do we find the need to do this?

How many young women see that article or similar ones, look at their own arms and then get depressed? I don’t want to be a drama queen here but this is the type of stuff that leads to eating disorders and a warped sense of self.

I know. It happened to me.

I’ve always wanted “Jennifer Anniston arms”. I remember being self-conscious of my arms as a preteen. I spent 20 years of my life staying away from tank tops when I had nothing to be ashamed of in the first place.  I spent WASTED time feeling sorry for myself and eating because I didn’t look like someone else. Sad, isn’t it?

I want to know if this type of article bothers you? Am I being overly sensitive? (That’s never been known happen, has it?) I just think the article could have passed on the great information about strengthening your arms without the comparison to a possibly unattainable body image.



15 Responses to “What’s wrong with MY arms?”
  1. Meems says:

    Yep, it bothers me too. I’m not Jennifer Aniston…or Madonna…or Michelle Obama, and my arms are not their arms. Wanting or expecting my body (as a whole or in pieces) to be something it simply isn’t makes it difficult to appreciate my body for what it is.

  2. Gayle says:

    It doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is not making the effort to be the best possible ME that I can. I wanna be called diesel. With Kelly Ripa’s arms.

  3. Forestroad says:

    Definitely refreshing to see someone bragging about doing a pull up rather than “achieving” Jen Aniston’s arms! I am working my way up the assisted pull up machine myself…I can lift about 3/4 of my weight so far.

  4. lissa10279 says:

    Kudos on the pull-up goal, Roni! It took me years to realize that I will never have long, thin legs. I have short, thick thighs. But I can run for more than an hour without stopping or being winded. And that means much more to me than having thin gams.

    • Sara says:

      I feel the same way about my legs now. I have always been bothered by my legs. Back in high school I was a twiggy kid, but I eventually started gaining weight and my legs have been “thick” ever since. I can run 8 miles and my legs have only grown (but they are more toned, I will say that!). But I can run 8 miles! Without stopping! That’s pretty cool even if my legs aren’t super thin and long. My legs are strong and that’s enough for me.

  5. Jules says:

    That Jennifer Aniston article bothers me as well. As someone that been pigging out and sitting around for years, it’s been a struggle for me to try to get in shape. Constantly looking for things to help motivate me to get off my ass, articles like that are just pathetic. They don’t work as motivation (at least not for me) and they are missing the whole point about fitness. If anyone is getting into a yoga routine for the sole purpose of getting Aniston’s arms, they will be in for a big disappointment and will probably quit after a while despite any health benefits they got from it because they are not seeing the results they expected.
    They are taking the focus away from health and putting it into something as pathetic as celebrity worship.

    I’ve finally found a website that has worked amazingly for me as motivation. It features a woman with an amazing body (one that I would like to have, but never will), but she never talks about how to get a body like hers, she is never condescending, she is open about her own personal struggles to stay motivated, always talks about being the best ‘us’ we can be, and best of all, she shows videos of herself doing her workouts. There is just something about a person in top shape, sweating, struggling, and breathing hard that motivates me to push myself to sweat, struggle and breathe hard too in order to be the best me I can be.

  6. I think any title about getting someone’s whatever is such a cliche and, really, makes me think of how lazy some writers can be. I agree with the other comments. People can’t have Ansiton’s arms simply because they’re not her. Their bodies are different. Why couldn’t it just say “Get Sleek Yoga Arms”?

    As a young girl with a fragile self-image, I believed in these kinds of articles. I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror because I perceived articles like that as saying ‘You are not good enough. If she can be like this, why can’t you?’ I rarely saw someone who looked like me: not stick-thin, not statuesque, and little pimply. So I often wondered why wasn’t I normal? Then something like this article comes out and I think it’s possible to be normal if I do yoga or 1000 sit-ups. But then we all know it doesn’t work that way.

  7. Lizzie says:

    Doesn’t bother me – the first thing I said to my trainer when i first began working with him was ‘Jennifer Aniston arms’ in answer to his ‘what are your goals’ question!! It isnt about being Jennifer Aniston or hating myself for not being like her, it’s just a visual measure of what i’d like my arms to look like (personally i think my arms are way betetr than hers now but whatever!!) While we’re ont he subject, I’d really like jessica simpson’s legs next 🙂

    Great post x

  8. sleepydumpling says:

    It bothers me because it reduces women to “bits”. One woman’s arms, another’s thighs, another’s boobs and so on. Women are not bits. We’re not pieces to pick and choose from, we’re a whole being, unique and complete, and all of the elements of that whole being have reasons for being the way they are.

  9. cggirl says:

    Great post. I couldn’t agree more. The whole comparison thing is just so destructive and counter productive.

  10. deb roby says:

    Jenifer Aniston arms – pfshah! Her’s are skinny with limited muscle definition.

    Mine? GUNS. I’m much happier with my arms than trying to have hers. Now Jillian Michaels arm? MizFit arms? Those, yet I’m working toward.

  11. love2eatinpa says:

    roni, you have accomplished amazing goals and your body IS fit and strong. all of our bodies are different. there is nothing wrong with seeing someone at the gym and saying – gosh, those woman’s arms look great, let me get my arms into the best shape that they can be.

    the media does this crap to us, makes us envy and long for things that tv personalities have and it’s a shame most of us so easily get caught up in it.

  12. SusanK says:

    Your fitness levels are amazing. You sound strong and powerful, and that is way more important than sleek and skinny or envy-causing (frankly, the difficulty I had walking up the 3 flights it takes to get to my apartment with my groceries seriously makes me envy your fitness). I have been “skinny flabby” for about 2 years after a foot injury knocked me out off my fitness routine, and the responsibilities of a new job took over. I am trying to get back into it, and instead of comparing my body to a fitter, more toned person, I will think, “I aspire to the fitness and dedication of someone awesome like Roni.”

  13. It bothers me in the sense that we hold celebs up to this standard that they arent often even entitled of having. I think the real admiration should be geared towards real women with real bodies that live real lives and work hard to be healthy (like yourself!).


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