How the Gym Influences Fitness
A primary concern that both men and women share is how they care about their physical appearance. Gym members believe they have to represent a particular image to be attractive in today’s society. Women are expected to be curvy and thin, while men are expected to be lean and show masculinity. People who do not meet the standards of being healthy or fit end up being eager to lose weight. When the new year comes around, a lot of the people set the goal of committing to the gym, and they spend their money on gym memberships. Gyms tend to advertise towards insecurities because they know people desire to be fit and sexually attractive.
As of today, men have a desire to be sexy and envy those who are because being sexy brings many good qualities, such as them being sexually attractive. This leads to the American culture wanting to be physically attractive so they can meet their biological needs. For instance, in the article, “Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising,” Jack Solomon states, “Much sexual coercion in advertising, however, is a sign of a desperate need to make certain that clients are getting their money’s worth”. In other words, gyms have sex appeal advertisements to show that gym-goers are getting their money's worth because they meet the standards of being attractive.
Attractiveness shows that a person gets those biological needs, which causes consumers to feel envious. The gym creates this feeling by showing images of shirtless men who are looking attractive as they pose for the picture. For instance, Gold’s gym knows that the desire for men is to be ripped, so they advertise a picture of a shirtless model who meets the criteria of what being sexy is illustrated. Gold’s gym captions the advertisement as “Get fit. Get ripped. Get sexy” (Image of Gold’s Gym Ad). Basically, Gold’s gym tries to get the consumer to wish for the body that the model being presented has. The model can be seen as an attractive figure that influences people to purchase gym memberships because they want to be appealing as well.
On the other hand, women also desire to be sexually attractive in a different way from men. Women wish to have a beach body, and it is contrary to a masculine body. To illustrate, in the article, “How Subarus Came to be seen as Cars for Lesbians,” Alex Mayyasi states, “That is, rather than reading ads to determine what they’re trying to say and do to their audiences, marketing semioticians often read the behavior of their target audiences to determine what to put in their ads''.
Said differently, gyms are targeting a specific group by advertising images of what people want. In this case, women have to be targeted differently than men because they have different ideal bodies, even though they both commonly wish to be sexually attractive to meet biological needs. In addition, another advertisement from Gold’s gym shows a toned woman performing a deltoid workout. The ad states, “Is Bali showing up on your body? Burn it”. Basically, this ad is advertising that to have the bikini body, the fat on the belly must go away. The model looks relaxed and confident as she flexes and poses in her bikini body. Like men, the ad influences women to a gym membership to achieve the bikini body.
Women do not only want to be sexually attractive, but they also desire to look fit to avoid body shaming. A lot of the women are concerned about being fat from different places on their bodies because they think that it is seen as a bad thing. A perfect example of body shaming comes from a Gold's fitness ad. The ad includes a picture of a green pear that states, “This is no shape for a girl”. Simply put, the gym advertisement is telling the female audience that being a pear shape is unattractive.
This advertisement is targeting women’s emotions by making them feel bad about themselves. This guilty feeling is a technique used by many advertisers. For instance, in the article, “Masters of Desire: The Culture of American Advertising,” Jack Solomon states, “ If dream and desire can be exploited in the quest for sales, so can nightmare and fear” . That is to say, women fear being shamed for their body type. Therefore, being fit is an important standard to meet in society's expectations to avoid being critiqued by others.
Going back to the topic of men, they have a desire to be fit because it is a standard they feel they need to meet of being strong. They want a body that has the features of being ripped and showing masculinity because that is how they express their dominance in their culture. Masculinity is a body image that is a trend in today's society because men like to show that they are at the top. For instance, in the article, “Everything Now,” Steve McKevitt states, “Everything now is an extreme example of an individualistic society, hence our tendency is to be egocentric, focusing on the improvement of one’s self circumstance, with self-actualization at the zenith ”.
In other words, men have an ideal image of looking strong for themselves and being comfortable in their skin. These qualities of confidence and strength are found through a body with big muscles or shapes that are ripped. By nature, men are competing against one another. The idea of being fit helps them look more athletic, durable, and manlier than others. For example, Top fit gym has an advertisement with a man doing a pull on the typical signs that have ads on the highways. The sign includes a picture of his muscular and sweaty back and the gym says, “Exceed. Be at the top” (Image of Top fit Gym Ad ). That is to say, that by being fit you can do many different mobilities. Not only that, but by gradually becoming fit, it shows how they are in better conditions than other men.
All things considered, both genders show how they want to be attractive to receive biological needs and look good, so they do not get judged. They get intrigued to look into buying a gym membership because of the way things are advertised towards them. Gym marketers know the insecurities that both genders have, and they know their wants, which is to be fit and sexually attractive. Ultimately, what is at stake here is that appearance matters in today's society because there are people who body shame, and people are seeking for relationships. With that being said, appearance matters in today's society, and both genders are convinced to think that they need a particular body type.
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