A young Italian bodybuilder died at age 30, after having spent a week in a coma at the hospital. Another one is hospitalized in serious condition, even if his life is not in danger. Apparently, he had taken performance-enhancing drugs in view of a race. It is just the latest step in a perverse race to perfection, to the satisfaction of an aesthetic model, whatever it is.
Muscles for men, slenderness for teenagers, the shape of the lips for women; and this is a generalization that does not even convey well the idea of the many facets of this obsession with the physique that has gone far beyond the proper attention towards our body.
A major misunderstanding has filled our society; to take care of our body, as God has given it to us, means to respect it, not to exploit it beyond all limits; it means to remember that it can be an instrument of interaction with other creatures itself. Basically, to take care of it means to keep it healthy, not to improve its aesthetics.
Whereas in current convention, the words “to take care of your body” means exactly to make sure that it is recognized by the others as an aesthetic canon as close to our perception of perfection as possible, to use a pun. It happens regardless of the damage such a quest may lead to. Thus, people eat less, to the point of undermining the fundamental balance of the human body, artificially swell their muscles even if it can cause irreparable damage, resort to plastic surgery to smooth, shape, and refine not things that are wrong, but things they do not like.
This mad race causes more and more victims: visible to everyone, that is, people who die because of a wrong surgery or the unexpected behavior of a given substance, but also the invisible victims – who are far more numerous -, that is, those people forced to live with the ghost of perfection constantly at their side; too bad this travel companion is always one step ahead of them, unreachable, and forces them to a sacrificed life that turns in upon itself, where an ephemeral compliment – which is gradually weakened by the passing of time – is not enough to fill a void that little by little becomes unbridgeable.