NOT EVERYONE IS a fan of working out. Not everyone is keen on it, although judging by TV viewing figures and packed stadiums, irrespective of body fat percentage, people love to watch athletes. Now, if I mention the word bodybuilding yet more people will tune out. It conjures up images of ridiculous muscular gargantuans that make Action Man look like a wimp. Steroids is inevitably one of the next synaptic matches made and yes they are abused. Let’s go beyond that.
Below is a documentary about Kai Greene a bodybuilder from humble beginnings who doesn’t do flash, or bragadocious chest thumping. There’s no ‘here’s my three storey, here’s my fast car…now check out my delts!’. Here is a man who wants you to see what lies (in both meanings of the word) beyond the lenses: video and camera. The super slick glossy images you see on mag racks or TV are what we are peddled daily. We are sold perfection, the sort that can only exist in heavily edited form whether that is photoshopping or selective words and footage. It creates a false reality. One that tells us, that to go from A to B is one way, while eschewing the daily grind, the boring minutae of each hour we are awake. According to the media, life is easy. We only see a snapshot of someones life, the part they have worked towards and it is staged. This is not how people live but I really feel this leads to people being very naïve about life and expectations of an easy ride come with it.
Why is it important to see the seldom seen? Well, I wish there was such a grounded look at a niche life like bodybuilding or writing readily available to everybody. Because the reality is so, so seldom what we see – illusions are what we fall for irrespective of what it is. Your job is sold at the interview as one thing, the real job is never the same. Your McBurger once opened in it flimsy cardboard, does not look like the picture on the menu. Kai Greene shows what a façade can do to our perceptions. This documentary focuses on bodybuilding but can be transposed to anything or anywhere, which is why I feel it is such a powerful and inspirational piece of media. See for yourself.