The cult of the body was a practice stablished in ancient Greece. A strong body with prominent muscles and a great physiognomy, like a Greek god. From the Olympus to the present days, the cult of the body has been a controversial issue for those who defend an extremely muscled body, and those who worry about the counterproductive causes of certain cosmetic procedures.
The bodies of men and women should represent eternal beauty and a harmonious balance between its parts. In Greek mythology, the tribute to perfection, eternity, and the body itself had a key role in the society.
Undoubtedly, the cult of the body was benefited by the athletic disciplines of this society. In the oldest Greek representations, nudity was very popular, and the images almost trespassed the levels of physical beauty to represent the individual character of the person.
Considering athletics as a fundamental part for the self-development of every citizen, Greeks considered the cult of the body a duty and social value, which used to give people a high level of importance, righteousness, and admiration.
It was that fact that eventually made a simple harmonious factor go beyond the sports arena, so the Greeks ended up worshiping the beauty of a perfect body; a silhouette that matched the pattern of behavior imposed by themselves, corresponding to the objectives achieved by their various deities, including the goddess Aphrodite or the renowned wrestler Hercules.
Centuries later, this way of thinking or perceiving what is around us is still perennial, as if it were the first day that an athletic body was the reason for the cult of a society. Perhaps to a lesser degree, but today, the cult of the body and the pursuit of that divine perfection still exists.
Unfortunately, with the popularity of certain practices, the same imperious need to be physically superior has brought countless counterproductive consequences for people’s welfare. Specialist Javier Mataix, says that “in today’s society, the modern obsession with body perfection has resulted in an epidemic of new changes and an increasing demand for cosmetic techniques related to an illusory quest for physical perfection.”
Imposed by the massive impact of digital media and advertising, the cult of the body has shown illusory figures that seem to be the representation of success, happiness and health, but according to Mataix, “are a socio-cultural pressure that blindly educate the population to keep fighting for this prototype, in order to have the approval of others.”