Aesthetics are part of life. Not as simple as just ‘looks’, aesthetics are informed by form and function.
I was 93lbs when i was a freshman in High School. I didn’t fill out a shirt. Hats were too loose on me even at their tightest setting. And dammit I just wanted to be bigger.
(It’s probably why I still wear smedium shirts).
Coming up through high school, I wanted broader shoulders like my Dad. At one point all I did was bicep curls, benchpress, and pull-ups, to try to fill out that shirt of course! It wasn’t meant to be. Now i’m happy with my less-broad, but more compact and sturdy body.
My first sport’s experience after moving to the island was a wrestling practice. I started in the Rockbuster’s program, then joined the high school as a 103lb’er. I quickly learned that picturesque muscles aren’t that important when it comes to winning matches. Looking strong didn’t translate to wrestling strong. Efficiency, work capacity, and conditioning looked a whole lot more beautiful out on the mat because if you had those things, you were an expression of power. If you had those things, you felt more capable, you felt more in control, you felt better. I still did curls and benchpress because I didn’t know any better. But I wish I had had CrossFit during that time, to build explosive and congruent movement instead of just a bigger bicep.
If you go into a normal gym, you see mirrors. Fitness has commonly been associated with looks. With bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, crunches, and the pec-deck. But real fitness and true aesthetic is what happens when you forgo the image to focus on efficiency, work capacity, and conditioning. And mirrors aren’t made to show those things.
ps. Don’t get me wrong, mirrors are excellent for observing technique. I wish we had them in the CrossFit gym for practicing Snatches and Clean&Jerks. But more commonly, they’re for checking out how strong you ‘look’.