Despite being considered the benchmark of male physique in Hollywood during the 80s, Arnold Schwarzenegger confessed in his recent documentary for Netflix that he was never completely satisfied with his body.
There, the iconic actor and former bodybuilder openly revealed his constant struggle with body dissatisfaction throughout his remarkable career.
Throughout the three episodes of the documentary series, the American actor shows his vulnerability by addressing the insecurities he experienced at the height of his career. Although he received numerous titles in the world of bodybuilding, including the coveted Mister Olympia title seven times, as well as second place in the Mister Universe contest, Schwarzenegger always felt that he was not good enough.
In one of the episodes, the actor revealed his most thoughts: “Many times I thought that everything was rubbish. It was like the other me that I didn’t want the world to see. In fact, when I’m alone, I say to myself: ‘It’s not here yet. It’s not going to happen. And I think that is what made me always be on the limit and always want more.”
In the documentary, Schwarzenegger also recalled a particularly devastating experience in which he failed to take first place in the Mister Universe contest. After seeing his reflection in the mirror, he wondered how he could have won the competition. “I was never really satisfied with my body. He would look at me in the mirror and say to myself, ‘I don’t know how this body can win that competition.’ “I was devastated, I cried all night.”
While Schwarzenegger is recognized for his strength and physical endurance, the documentary emphasizes that even bodybuilding icons can experience insecurities and feel dissatisfied with their appearance. Unattainable standards of physical perfection can lead to body dissatisfaction and muscle dysmorphia.
Muscle dysmorphia is a disorder in which a person has a distorted perception of their own musculature and feels dissatisfied and undesirable, even though others do not share that evaluation. This disorder can lead to extreme behaviors such as excessive exercise, steroid abuse, and eating disorders.
Schwarzenegger’s documentary serves as a reminder that no one is exempt from the pressures and insecurities related to body image. Through his personal story, the actor seeks to inspire others to accept themselves and value their own appearance; In this way, they will be able to overcome the unattainable standards imposed by society and find confidence.