“Don’t I deserve to be privileged?

Don’t I deserve to get the very best?

‘Cause it ain’t easy being this fine all the time,

‘Cause if it was, then we all could do it”

Jazmine Sullivan – Mascara

Often when I write these posts it is against the backdrop of music and in most cases with the familiar quiet of my good friend Jack Daniels. Jazmine Sullivan is one of mainstream music’s most underrated singer/song writers and her unique ability to tell a story through songwriting, in my humble opinion, is second to none. I don’t speak on this subject as a music critic or with an encyclopaedic knowledge of music history, but as a fan whose soul has been touched.

The above lyrical quote is taken from a track called Mascara off Jazmine Sullivan’s most recent sublime musical offering; the Reality Show album. There are many standout songs but it is track number 2 that resonates with me most this evening.

The song is about a women who puts in the work and uses her physical appearance to get what she wants out of life, however I think the song taps into a wider theme of physical appearance, and just how much effort it takes to maintain a good physique. Now for the purpose of this post we will exclude the surgically enhanced or the genetically gifted who can gorge on foods of poor nutritional value and still look amazing…

But I’m speaking of those who put a lot of time and exertion into their appearance and physical well-being, yet are treated with little or no respect for the efforts of their labour. I am talking about people who take the time to make sure they eat right, drink water and regularly exercise. The average person can be very dismissive of the consideration, commitment and discipline it takes to maintain a reasonable health and a naturally healthy glow…especially after the age of 30.

These people are not celebrities with personal trainers and world class chefs, these are people who have to try to find that elusive thing called time and exercise after an exhausting day at work. What about those who rise before the sun? Or those who make every effort to avoid the constant onslaught of tea, coffee, biscuits, doughnuts, chocolate and cake offered at every turn…yet their willpower and resolve is widely overlooked.

You see although larger people are unfairly ridiculed within our poor mass media, I don’t know if that necessarily trickles into the day to day culture within your local work environment. Sympathy and support is freely offered to any large person who wants to initiate losing a few pounds but for those who work hard to maintain their health or appearance the same credit isn’t given…even if far more constant daily discipline is involved.

Is that fair?

Just over a decade ago I was at my heaviest and weighed in at about 20 stone (which converts to roughly 127 kg for my European friends and 280 lbs for my American buddies) and with a jolt (courtesy of the low carb Atkins diet) I made it down to about 15 stone (95kg/210lbs) and since then picked up the hard drug of running, drank more water, only ate when I was actually hungry and stopped late night snacking. I will never achieve the culturally iconic Calvin Klein six pack or grace the summer edition of Men’s Health, but I work very hard to look the way I do.

This post is not an endorsement to judge the fuller figure, there is room for us all, but the next time you see someone with a body that you secretly admire and desire or who has just made an effort with their physical appearance, why not compliment them on it and take a little time out to appreciate the hard work that goes into it.

I would like to thank Jazmine Sullivan’s exceptional song writing skills and incredible vocal delivery for unknowingly sponsoring this message!

Until next time.