Cumbia is a sacred word on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, especially during Carnaval season. The dance is a mesmerizing infusion of Spanish dance, African drumbeats and indigenous instruments, an ode to the history of this region. It’s also my personal favorite dance, so I’m going to introduce you to this stunning cultural masterpiece. Continue reading Culture Spotlight: Cumbia
I realized the other day the effect our cultural differences have on fitness: we’re striving for opposite ends of the same goal. In my culture, physical “beauty” is defined by thin, delicate bodies with flat stomachs and minimal hips. So tall, hourglass me is lifting heavy weights and amping up the core work to lose my breasts and slim my hips.
But in my gym, I noticed a very thin, athletically built girl lifting 5-pound dumbbells and doing endless sets of leg lifts; in coastal culture, beautiful bodies are defined by big breasts and prominent butts. Her thin, straight frame isn’t enough here, and she’s trying to get a body more like my cursed curves.
In effect, we’re doing opposite workouts to achieve our opposite ideals of beauty. Will it work?
If I ever have a daughter, I want to tell her that she’s beautiful: because she’s brave, she’s compassionate, she’s smart, she’s capable and she’s loved and important.
Since when did beauty become a purely physical trait to counteract ‘fat?’
I read a piece about not calling little girls beautiful, to keep them from falling into the appearances trap, but I disagree. I think they need to be taught a broader definition of beauty, the truth of value.