Thursday, August 11, 2011

Daizee Haze and the Idea of Health

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Trust me, anorexia doesn't look this muscular
When it was announced that Daizee Haze would be put on hiatus from Chikara for "health reasons", the chatter that was always there concerning her frame rose to audible-to-the-public levels. This was enough for Dave Prazak to speak up on her behalf via the SHIMMER message board (which you have to log into to see). Here's the quote, transcribed courtesy of Stephen T. Stone of Grapple Kingdom:
I think everyone has made it more than clear that they wish the best for Daizee’s health and well being. I also think it’s a shame that all of the focus has been put on her appearance for the past year or so rather than anyone talking about how she’s been a part of some spectacular matches, in both SHIMMER and CHIKARA. I feel her match with Serena on 37 and the tag on 40 are two of the most solid all around matches we’ve ever had on our shows. Rather than offering praise for the quality of her work and contributions to the business as a whole, including teaching the young girls behind the scenes, it seems everyone just resorts to the “eat a sandwich” comments. Everyone wishes for her to be as healthy as possible, but please, move on.
On the surface, that seems harsh. Here's a guy who doesn't seem at all fazed by the fact that one of his ace performers is potentially battling health issues that ostensibly stem from an unreasonable and unusual body type. I've never heard anyone speak an ill word about Prazak before, and he's always seemed to me like a guy who is more of a wrestler's promoter rather than a Vince McMahon-like taskmaster. So maybe the fact that he's bringing attention to Daizee's body of work rather than her body itself is a clue here that her Chikara absence is either on purpose, something designed to bring her back later for a big crowd reaction, or her health issue is totally unrelated to her body type.

But she's skinny, like dangerously skinny, right? Well, yeah, most women who are as thin as Daizee tend to be emaciated and sickly looking, ribs showing, no definition to anything because there's no fat nor muscle there. That's certainly not the case with Daizee. Look at the picture. She is absolutely ripped. She doesn't have any visible body fat because she's probably burned it all in training building that body. Telling her to "eat a sandwich" really isn't all that productive because my guess is that she does eat, and probably more than you or I could in a single sitting.

Muscle mass is the biggest deciding factor in how hard your metabolism works. If you have a lot of muscle, your metabolic needs are going to be a lot greater than if you're a giant fatass. That's the biggest fallacy in nutrition and culinary consumption today. Fat people don't have the ability to eat more because they're fat; I know from experience that my overeating was often at the expense of my own comfort at the end of the meal. Did you ever wonder why people like Michael Phelps or the skinny Asian women who rock the house at eating competitions are the ones that put away so much food? It's because their metabolic demands are such that they either eat just enough food to maintain their desired weight, or they burn so much that they can lose weight without even trying. I don't know how to explain the Asian girls, but Phelps is the way he is because he works out so much, building muscle and keeping his body active.

Now, whether Daizee's sinewy build is pleasing to the eye or not is wholly a matter of subjectivity. Personally, if I'm looking for attractiveness in a woman, I really don't want someone that muscular. I like femininity to go with a well-toned body. Beth Phoenix and Kaitlyn both have muscles. Beth Phoenix and Kaitlyn also have other feminine features that make them attractive to me. That being said, I'm not sure that Daizee really cares if she's attractive to people, and I'm not sure it's in our place to judge her as a wrestler the same way we'd judge her as a sex symbol. The fact that she'd rather be a great wrestler rather than try to juggle being a supermodel with being passable in the ring so she can get a look by WWE is really admirable to me.

I'm also not entirely sure how much muscle is too much muscle because I'm not an anatomist, a doctor or a nutritionist. However, I do know when I see Daizee Haze in action, I'm not watching Kate Moss, I'm watching someone with a sprinter's build. Whether that build has put her health in jeopardy or not is really a question that she and she alone should have to answer if she wants to, and that's even if she does have health issues.

Until then, I'm not sure that the criticisms that she needs to eat a sandwich are all that valid. She's skinny, maybe to a degree that makes people uncomfortable, but at the same time, she also doesn't have a body type that SCREAMS bad health or bad habits. She's well within her rights to look like someone decided to wrap foam rubber around sticks and cover it with latex. Yeah, we're right to worry about her, but at the same time, I'm not sure there's much to worry about here unless she states otherwise. Muscle mass is a very powerful thing, and the sheer amount she has on her body lends me to believe that she's healthier than a lot of people are speculating right now.

Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein - Please visit his site to view the plentiful amounts of pictures he's taken for DGUSA, ROH and other indie feds: Get Lost Photography

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