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25
MAR

Unfit in Uniform

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 8:43 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor

Josh Hartnett

When you picture a man in uniform – military not postal – what do you see? If you’re the typical woman, you envision a being of upstanding moral character and undeniable physical prowess. His uniform, be it for the navy, army or marines, fits him perfectly, hinting at a body that knows nothing but vigorous exercise, well-balanced meals and overall health. It leaves you confident that our nation is protected by the most able, the most fit and for some, the most appealing.

Unfortunately, in Germany at least, reality is nowhere near fantasy. A survey of the country’s armed forces found that 40 percent of those aged 18 to 29 are overweight. None of them exercise and many of them smoke. In contrast, only 35 percent of Germany’s civilians are overweight, making those defending less fit than those defended. How terrifying if Germany were to ever find itself on the defensive, and how telling of just how wrong assumptions can be.

We make assumptions every day based on our position in life – our career, family, location, age and gender – and then we embrace them. We allow findings and stereotypes about our particular group to dictate who we become. If we hold a position that conjures nothing but images of flab, lethargy and excessive indulgence, well then, that is what we will portray. But it shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t be ruled by society’s generic expectations. We should be governed by ourselves, our minds, our bodies and our wellbeing. We should discover what is best for us, as individuals, and become that – which is hopefully an image of health not a German soldier.

 

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