A recent report, The Female Body’s Dysmorphic Epidemic: How Contemporary Women Are Coping With Our Aberrant Social Reality, looks at the growing trend in women to look emaciated as a fashion and beauty statement.

According to the Oxford Dictionary Sarcopenia is defined as the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing. It is from the Greek meaning ‘poverty of flesh’.

In anyone’s language this description does not seem very appealing and yet today without knowing it many women spend their lives striving to achieve this look.

The report says “Currently, women are being socially reinforced in terms of their bodily conditioning to mimic to a certain degree a medical condition of senescence referred to as sarcopenia or muscular atrophy. It is now deemed appropriate by the social media for women to have no visible signs of homeostatic muscular genesis. Their bodies are becoming atrophied and seemingly sarcopenic.”

The media and cultural norms have conned women into thinking that skinny is beautiful and that to have any muscle definition or a healthy strong physic is to be overweight and unattractive. Athletic power is now considered to be unattractive or something which is retrograde to bodily beauty.

This is re-iterated in the gym where only men lift weights. Women are confined to treadmills and other forms of cardiovascular workouts that concentrate on burning calories rather than building a fit and healthy body with a strong core of muscular definition.

They strive to be thin, and by definition attractive and successful and yet their very lifestyle stacks the odds against them. The birth control pill with its increased oestrogen levels creates a larger amount of adipocytes (cells designed to store fat). Our busy lifestyles mean that much of the food we eat is pre-prepared and full of preservatives and by their very nature are packed with sugar and fats.

Fat women are deemed as not desirable and in the eyes of men they are somehow inferior to thin women. By definition a ‘chubby’ woman cannot be happy, she must be harbouring deep seated feelings of anxiety and hitherto untapped angst and depression

In general, lethargy, higher levels of oestrogen, eating processed foods and increased stress levels are all contributing to the epidemic of obesity as well as the sarcopenic feminine bodily look.

Women who have managed to be thin are obsessed about their bodily image and this influences their self-esteem. 

A women’s perception of herself has also changed, she may look in the mirror and regard herself as overweight when in fact she is thin and sarcopenic. Social reality has put so much pressure on her to be thin that she is no longer able to truly perceive her actual body image. In today’s society beauty seems to equal being as thin and as lifeless as possible.

This obsession with the corpse-like quality of the sarcopenic is discouraging women from developing the strong female body that goes with a healthy workout and fitness regime. Not only does a physical workout build a core strength within the female body it also creates a healthy emotional and psychological component that is vital to the total wellbeing of someone. This is vital if a woman is to feel good about herself and her body.

Succumbing to the external social pressures of looking so fragile that they will break with the slightest exertion is not healthy for the body, the mind or the emotions.

The reports concludes by saying “Lifting heavy weights, running sprints, engaging in classical dance and martial arts are profoundly necessary for a woman’s paramount sense of well-being as well as her body’s strength and power. Commercialism must be trumped in order for women to experience heuristic bodily health and beauty, enabling them to mollify today’s epidemic pathogenesis. Thus, today’s female body dysmorphic syndrome is an actual psychiatric disorder which appears to be fostered by our social reality.”

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Age Management Medicine Group (AMMG). The Female Body’s Dysmorphic Epidemic: How Contemporary Women Are Coping With Our Aberrant Social Reality (Ron Shane, Ph.D., OMD, Kurt Bivens, M.D., Jeffry Schafer, M.D., Andy Mencia, M.D., and Tanner Kim)