Ancient cultures gave importance to the perfect body.The Olmpyics was a result of the obession with the perfect form.The Mayan’s tampered with the muscles of a newborn's forhead, to comform to the mayan standard of having a flat forehead . They also drained blood from their bodies,as a form of sacrifice.The Victorians made themselves look pale white, as being feverishly delicate was the vogue during that time.During the same period women were supposed to have body sturcture identical to men.Fastforward few hundred years and look at the streets of London,people having silicon implants to look more voluptous. So if a Victorian super model travels in time and reaches present day London, she would be deemed as a ugly women.The standards have changed.
The native tribes in all continents still follow mutilation and body worship.
When we see the present day diseases of aneorixa and bulimia,we can see the results of body imagery affecting everyday life.The illusion that there is a perfect body somewhere drives everyone to achieve that ideal.I have suffered numerous "body -complexes" due to my conditioning and also the images of the media gave rise to low self esteem.Even Cindy Crawford in an interview, told that she can never look like the "Cindy Crawford in a magazine”. Then why does the society allow morphed images or impossible body ideals to enter the main stream media?
There are various factors which propel the society to give importance
to the body and not the mind.
1.Idolatory nature of the human species.(Valid from ancient times)
2.The adoration of youth and eternal life.Hatred of old age and
death.( Valid from ancient times)
3.Economic Benefit(The advent of Advertising)
Everyone in the present day has issues concerning their body.We all feel ugly because our bodies don’t match the surgically altered bodies of the actors/actress.We may not have flawless skin or pleasing face.But irrespective of that,the natural law's rots them and us at the same time.But perfection of body is a battle with the impossible.
We may struggle hard to keep the body in perfect shape and form,but old age will come.Death will hunt us down.Our body is bound to decompose and become manure.Yoga
has become so popular in the west.One of the western companies wanted to patent yoga as their invention.What was not done in 5000 years (in India),would be done in the past 50 years due to greed.Even yoga when followed as a exercise regiment may hold some benfits,but without the spiritual component, it becomes a money making machine.
But perfection of the mind is possible.We can reach it. Our mind may have the key to the realms of the unexplored.Thanissaro Bhikkhu in his meditation lectures(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/meditations.html) says that:
The body works on the "Laws Of Dimnishing Returns".By obsessing with our body we cannot get any answers .By working on the mind we learn to deal with inevitable scenarios like death.Old age gives rise to various fears.Hallucinations and nightmares start ruling our mind once our body starts deterioating.If we spend our youth making our minds fearless and attain a state of peace by accepting death and permancence,we are bound to have a rich life.