[Letter to the editor]A healthy body is a good thing

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[Letter to the editor]A healthy body is a good thing

Regarding the article titled “Body Worship” (Nov. 28), I very much agree with the author’s opinion, but I think his assertion is somewhat exaggerated.
I totally agree that the mass media and consumerism are in part responsible for the widespread use of plastic surgery, and that today’s mass consumerism and mass media such as TV, Internet communication and magazines, set norms and standards for beauty and commercialize them. Young people especially follow the fashion trends, and they want to emulate the styles of famous actors and actresses.
Usually the physical appearance of famous celebrities becomes the standards of beauty. As mentioned in this article, the media create the illusion that people can easily become beautiful if they want to. So they are eager to make their body come close to these standards; they’d do anything to be beautiful.
Dieting is the usual naive way to achieve that ideal, and some can become anorexic. But are these the right standards for beautiful bodies? Who decides that?
I think it makes sense to conclude that this phenomenon is the product of secularization and individualism. As mentioned in the article, people have become more individualistic so they now find meaning in their own bodies, not in religion and community life.
Plastic surgery, piercing and tattoos prove that the body itself has become a canvas of expression, rather than other means such as makeup or clothes.
But in spite of my agreement with the article, I think “ Body Worship” is too tough a term to apply to well-being, diet and overall fitness, including jogging. Those are just actions one takes for a healthy life. I don’t think we have to worry so much about taking care of our bodies. It’s not body worship; healthy living is a desirable ideal, not a worrisome one.
In my opinion, the author lumps everything, good or bad, under the tough term “body worship.” While there are some worrisome trends, other aspects, such as taking care of our bodies for a healthy life, are to be commended. We don’t want to be immortal; we just want to live in good health.
Ami Choi, Seoul
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