Tag Archives: appearance

How to Obsess about Trivia

Round is a ShapeGuys, you know you have been wondering about this. You know you’ve been parking yourself in front of the mirror after pulling that t-shirt over your head and puzzling, “How can I look more like a super macho guy in this shirt?” If that’s the case, then your desires are about to be fulfilled. Browse on over to the always-spiritual pages of Men’s Fitness and read an article that answers just such a question.

In case you can’t wait for your browser to make that jump–which does require a painstaking few seconds of advertising before loading the article–I can sum up the basics here:

While attacking the large muscle groups in your upper body—your back, chest, shoulders—is obviously important, the key to looking great in a t-shirt is in the finer details. In other words, it’s all about targeting the little muscles within the bigger muscles.

The author then goes on to detail some of those little muscles and to prescribe exercises designed to target them. If you’re taking notes, you might need to add hammer curls and dumbbell skull crushers–hey, I’m not making this stuff up–to your workout routine.

In the interests of full disclosure, when someone asks me–no one has, by the way–“Do you even lift, bro?” I can say that I do lift weights 4 or 5 days a week. Why? As a runner and a biker and a guy who likes to be able to do stuff around the house, I would like to have a strong body. I’m a functional lifter.

I do not, however, lift in order to look better in my t-shirts, and I will not be adding hammer curls to work on my brachialis muscles for that purpose.  I might add hammer curls or work on my brachialis if I felt that such action would help me to do something like run faster or leap tall buildings in a single bound.

In 1 Samuel 16:7, when Samuel is trying to determine which of Jesse’s sons God wants him to anoint as king, Samuel is warned not to consider how these guys looked in t-shirts: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Although I intend to continue lifting weights, I will not be paying much attention to the article linked above. When I enter heaven, I hope to be greeted as a good and faithful servant. I’m pretty certain that God will not be looking at me and saying, “Nice pecs, dude!”

Like Nails on a Chalkboard?

The New York Times ran a story recently describing the terrible working conditions among nail salons in New York. The exploitation of vulnerable people, made possible due to customer vanity and cheapness, ought to make a Christian recoil. Does it?

Among the more than 100 workers interviewed by The Times, only about a quarter said they were paid an amount that was the equivalent of New York State’s minimum hourly wage. All but three workers, however, had wages withheld in other ways that would be considered illegal, such as never getting overtime.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good. There’s nothing wrong with shopping for a bargain. But when you discover that your nice nails at a nice price come at the cost of someone else earning a decent living, the aesthetics and economics certainly change.