Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No Sex, No Glory

Today I writing to you guys from a very vulnerable position. I've matured enough in my Christian faith to realize I was doing some things wrong when it came I portraying myself in a Godly way; and I've also realized that lots of other people are stuck getting it wrong too... No, I am not trying to save the world here, I just want to discuss and hear your feedback and opinions on a hot topic- sexuality in our modern culture.

Like I said, I don't have all the answers but one thing I do know is that in our modern world, casual sexuality just that- casual. On popularized and heavily promoted "reality" TV dating shows, ie: Bachelor Pad, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette, sex before marriage is treated as a "test drive" to find your soul mate. With such influences, its understandable how one can get desensitized to protecting and cherishing one's sexuality.

Reference: A History of Ridiculous Reality Dating Shows



The inner turmoil I experienced along these lines of "sexuality" was when I tried to find a balance between modesty and freedom of dress/clothing style.

Case and point: Lolo Jones is an Olympic-level hurdler, safe to say she is a "good" athlete, and preforms at the "elite" level right? Right. Okay, so she got 4th (in the entire world) at the Olympics in the 100m hurdles. Its heartbreaking and disappointing to come soooo close to an Olympic medal and gall short, but still - She is a great athlete and is completely worthy of admiration and respect. Yet, instead of discussing het race, the Twitter-verse blew up ridiculing her for staying a virgin and honoring her commitment to save sex for marriage. Read the story here: Critics Blame Lolo Jones Virginity On Her Poor Olympic Performance.



More articles >
- Blog: Lolo Jones
- Lolo Jones: The Most Eligible Bachelorette of The Olympics

I see it all the time in modern culture, and even (or especially?) in the fitness world. Athletes and fitness models are treated as sex symbols not ATHLETES and FITNESS models. For women, it seems if she isn't seen as "sexy" then it's: NO SEX, NO GLORY.

A female athlete or fitness model's success and popularity (glory), is highly enhanced if men think she's "sexy" (Ex: Jamie Eason, Lolo Jones, Hope Solo, Jennifer Nicole Lee, Nathalia Melo), which is what drives (I'm guessing) most fitness models to be sexy-fitness models.  

JNL

Jamie Eason

 Now, I could argue it's as much the person in the photo's responsibility to keep unclean thoughts from happening as it is the person looking at the photo. I mean, who's really having the sexual thoughts? The observer. BUT there's some responsibility to prevent yourself from encouraging those thoughts, right? BUT there are people who see a woman preforming a sport (Hope Solo, Lolo Jones) and get all sexual about it by default. How can you prevent that!? Not play soccer? Not hurdling? ... Not fitness modeling?... How about not be a pervert!? I can see both sides of the story. Ok, posing nude (see below) is not helping your sex symbol vs. athlete profile, Lolo ....


But let's be honest, I MYSELF have done some less than "athletic" photo shoots. YES, at times I have been blinded by what is definitely a strong pull to do sexual photo shoots. I am only human, and thank God we have Him, because the heart of man (woman) is desperately wicked!

Some fitness modeling's photos aren't as obviously sexy or athletic. Often they ride a thin line... for example, certain photos of Jamie Eason are what inspired me to get ripped and build muscle, but those same photos can encourage lust just as easily. In one light it can inspire and motivate women to get fit and be confident and happy with their bodies... but on the other hand, all some guys see when they look at the photo is SEX SEX SEX.


What did you think when you looked at my photo? (Now ask 50 men and 50 women the same question and imagine the varied answers!) Now I'm not singling out men... I admit I have looked at male fitness model photos and thought the words "He's sexy" instead of "What great definition in his pecs, I wonder if he trained with drop sets," but for my purposes in this post I am focusing on the sexuality placed on female athletes.


This post is as much a riducule of the immoral, secular, sex-driven modern culture as it is a personal confession of my conforming to it. I am a FITNESS model and I compete and model to be ATHLETIC and FIT not sexy, desireable, and an object of lust for men; yet, this is what you get when you google "fitness model:"




Now-a-days, sex is everywhere. Especially wherever the focus is on the human body - like sports and fitness modeling. Even if the focus on the human body is suposed to be focused on training it, building muscle, developing athletic ability, and growing stronger.... sex creeps in.

Every competition, photo shoot, post, and fitness expo I have done in the past I have learned from- I learned when I was wrong, when I was right, and how to stand my ground when it comes to Christian morals. Last spring I began to chase what I feel is my "calling" and my deep driving desire to help others by being an inspiring voice and good role model in the fitness industry.


My desire is to inspire people of all types & backgrounds to live a healthy life. If I can motivate just one person to choose to resist the world, choose to love their God, and choose to honor Him by taking care of the beautiful creation that He crafted for us - our bodies- then I have fullfilled my calling in this life!



I train in Jesus' name, I train to mold myself into the best version of me; to be all God intended me to be: in health, in heart, in spirit, and most importantly... IN HIM.

I am so so far from the perfect creation God sees I can be. Many times- and many more times- I will sin, act immaturely, not care for others, be self absorbed, forget to pray, harbor unforgiveness, serve the world's desires, and lose sight of the never-ending joy available to me through my greatest gift: salvation. But what I will ALWAYS do is strive to not make the same mistake twice, and to always grow more and more like Chrirst until my heart is like His. I pray that I will ALWAYS repent and come running to the cross. And for anyone reading this, I pray that when this life (as inperfect, secular, sinful, or immoral as it may be) is over, I'll see YOU in HEAVEN because you too believed upon Jesus (John 3:16) and were given the free gift of eternal life.

Here's to Living 4 Eternal Bliss.


Foster your health to honor God and live a
happy, healthy life; NOT to satisfy the
world's unyeilding pull to "get sexy."

No sex, no glory? That's fine. Glory be to God; not me.

Blessings,
 ~ Ruthie

15 comments:

  1. "I admit I have looked at male fitness model photos and thought the words "He's sexy" instead of "What great definition in his pecs, I wonder if he trained with drop sets," - This comment had me rolling with laughter! Great post, Ruthie. I can admit I don't usually ask those questions about a dude's physique, BUT when it comes to a woman's physique ALL of those exercise/diet-related questions flood my brain.

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    1. Ha-ha, just being honest :p And yes, I hardly ever (unless it is a very sexual photo) even notice how female athlete's photos could be perceived as sexual. I see their defined shoulders, tight glutes, cut abs, ect as inspiring and impressive. I think, "WOW she trained very intensely and ate clean with consistency to acheive that physique!" I know how much work it takes, so I appreciate the dedication.

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  2. wow so amazing.thanks for sharing ruthie

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    1. You are welcome! I hope it inspired you to live by God's standards. I just know I have fallen and stumbled at this in the past and that I am striving to live by God's standards from here on out and not be blinded by the world.

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  3. Actions speak louder than words.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this! You really made me open my eyes, and to become more aware of why I do the things I do and who I really should be doing them for (Him). This was great!

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  5. Your quite the hypocrite. Your giving men all over a reason to look at you like a sex object. Your prancing around in nothing but skimpy clothing and you wonder why men are pervs. If you don't cover your body up and your flaunting every inch of your body you should expect to have men look at you nothing more than a sex object and not an athlete. For claiming to be this super religious person your going against everything in the Bible. Your putting people down who do these provocative photo shoots but your pictures are nothing better, God would not want you to flaunt your body the way you do. Your hiding behind your religion and preaching it to people to make yourself feel better about what your doing. Your vein and self centered and my thought is you like to be looked at like a sexual object, you'll never get the respect you want or should have from men if you keep going the way you are. Your getting the wrong kind of attention. The title of your post "no sex, no glory", implies you need to sleep your way to the top. Am I correct in saying that's what your doing?

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    1. Did you actually READ the article you are posting on? Or just the title.

      "No Sex, No Glory" is supposed to imply exactly what you just said; good job detective. Did you read the last line?? >> "No sex, no glory? That's fine. Glory be to God; not me."


      And again, yup- nothing gets past you: "let's be honest, I MYSELF have done some less than "athletic" photo shoots. YES, at times I have been blinded by what is definitely a strong pull to do sexual photo shoots. I am only human, and thank God we have Him, because the heart of man (woman) is desperately wicked!" So yes, AGREED: I have not always done waht God would want. I realize that. I am human, I'm not perfect.

      Being a Christian and trusting that God is my Lord and Savior does not instantly make me PERFECT. It means I know what I am striving for. I am a sinner; straight up. It's why I NEED Jesus. "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:12-14

      I wrote this post "as much a riducule of the immoral, secular, sex-driven modern culture as it is a personal confession of my conforming to it." ... I now realize I have given myself a STANDARD to live up to by posting this. Good! I want to live by God's rules and standards, not this world's. Stop judging me like YOU are deciding whether or not I will enter Heaven. Sorry but that position is filled.

      I wrote this post to proclaim that: "I am a FITNESS model and I compete and model to be ATHLETIC and FIT not sexy, desireable, and an object of lust for men." .... And that "My desire is to inspire people of all types & backgrounds to live a healthy life. If I can motivate just one person to choose to resist the world, choose to love their God, and choose to honor Him by taking care of the beautiful creation that He crafted for us - our bodies- then I have fullfilled my calling in this life!"

      Get off your soapbox. No one ever saved a soul by harrassing their blog 24/7 with their hateful comments Mr. 'Annonymous.

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    2. Oh PS- Yeah, as a virgin who's saving myself for marriage I am definitely "sleeping my way to the top." Nailed it. "No Sex, NO Glory" implies the world would love for women to sell themselves off as sex-objects to gain popularity. MY point is: It's not worth it, it's not right, and I'm not going to do it.

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  6. Very true, there is only one Judge in this world. What's to be done is to work on oneself and to love one another. To tolerate, love, respect, and accept one another. You're very beautiful and it's apparent to you work hard at what you do! Keep it up!

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  7. I’d like to comment on your blog post as a photographer & an artist who attempts to understand the "sex sells" imperative of an images marketability & optimistically believes sexuality can be a vital part of advancing humanity's "ideal body type".
    I firmly believe bikini class fitness competitors now represent a brand new paradigm in femininity & it occurs to me that there is an inherent sexiness in a toned athletic body. I'll grant your point that the opinions of those who view an image are far more indicative of the bias inherent in the viewer than any quality you'd choose to project in your photos. But in accepting the inherent beauty of exemplary fitness physiques I believe you must accept there remain elements of "sexy" no matter how pure our intention. I remain hopeful you won't attempt to eliminate all "sexiness" from your images as you build the "Ruthie brand"!
    There is a long & storied history of the conflict between art & commerce when visionaries begin to advance the concept of what humans can be. Example: artists of the Renaissance were often pushed toward creations that appealed to the public rather than the celebration of humanity evident in daVinci's work or in Michelangelo’s David. Many of the commissions given to artists of the day were based on appeal to a broader audience and focused on whatever the local King or Pope wanted versus the artistic vision of the individual artist. Art by design often necessitates a challenge to convention & also asks that we the viewer, expand our understanding of the subject at hand. This process often requires artists to utilize images abit beyond conformity to the mores of the greater consciousness. Style designers of the fashion world constantly press outwards on the envelope of taste & fashion to challenge the public to rethink what beauty means (& therefore what sells to their readers) This process also brings focus to that ephemeral perception which defines beauty in context with today's society. Just as the body builder of yesterday redefined what strength & fitness should look like to earlier generations, your classification of bikini competition redefines what women's fitness can & should be.

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  8. That said, it seems apparent from the wealth of fitness images on the magazine covers & the huge popularity of fitness & nutrition as lifestyle choices, there is a trend towards the physique you represent. Since the bikini classification of fitness competition is markedly less muscular (in a masculine sense) than women's bodybuilding used to be, it also seems that societies definition of beauty found in the curviness of the body & postures used in bikini competition are indicative of a new & advanced femininity. While your blog takes some issue with Hope Solo's choice to appear in the body issue of ESPN Magazine, in fact I see the feature as a method to expand society’s view that athletics contain a new beauty that springs from a fit lifestyle. An argument could be made that her implied nude pose is in fact less "sexual" than some poses adopted in bikini competition (i.e. wide leg frontal stances w/the cocked hip or the booty poses from the rear). My hope in posting this note is not to challenge your premise that you must remain vigilant of sexiness in your image but rather to encourage you to remember that you are redefining women's self image. It is also important to remember a necessary part of our biological imperative is continuation of the species; therefore sexuality must remain a portion of any definition.
    While you may seek to celebrate the beauty possible within your own body as a gift from God, a twisted person with issues all his/her own only sees degradation and provocation. In any circumstance I think it necessary to remind ourselves we can only control our own hearts & minds. It is beyond your power to control the deviant thoughts of a damaged person such as your anonymous responder. Additionally, in order for bikini class fitness to succeed outside of the gym rat crowd, it must crossover to the public & sell magazines & fitness products. Social media will continue to promote that which draws viewers & motivates people to share images in hopes of becoming the viral face of women's fitness. Think of yourself as exploring the traditions of the Greek statuary celebrating human beauty with a lean physique & the beautiful curves of "Venus" instead of the background dancer on a video who's sexuality is both blatant & stereotypical.
    Jamie Eason is indeed a fine example of a clean bright media presence whose images & public persona combine wholesome sexiness with a body of work that enhances & expands the current perception of femininity. Her faith is evident in her social media and her positive message promotes the values you have embraced and encourages many others to make intelligent choices for their life. All of her efforts promote the spiritual along with clean living & healthy diet as a worthy lifestyle choice. Kudos to your mission & lifestyle, you & others like you have inspired me to rethink my own fitness level/lifestyle & to push towards a healthier future!! Thx

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  9. Hi,

    Good read...food for thought, for sure! "The modern/Western/popularized mentality, mindset & attitude regarding sex & sexuality..." 'Coincidentally' (by lack of a better word), today, I pondered a while on pretty much this same topic. Interesting, indeed then, to come across this post.

    Not many people - especially those that are famous/more in the public eye - will put this out there, own up to their shortcomings and admit they can be their best through grace, and grace only. I commend for your courage & willingness to share your very personal views & experiences...respect! I'm sure a lot of folks who read this did a double take on the contemporary premise of sexuality. And I hope it can inspire, motivate and encourage many more.
    As is evident in some replies above, you WILL be criticized, or condemned, or judged, or [insert scornful verb here] for going 'against the gain'. Don't be disheartened, remember the supportive replies & keep up the faith!

    Thanks for sharing your testimony and what you learned & learn as you walk the way with the Lord. Many blessings and strength for all your endeavors...I was gonna name them all, but it's quite the list! ;)

    L.

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