This is a loaded question, as being in "good shape" can mean different things to different people. As someone who has enjoyed participating in various sports in the past, I tend to assume that there's an element of fitness involved and that it means being slim as well. At the moment I'm not at my fittest or slimmest, even though I walk a lot and enjoy dancing whenever I have the opportunity, however I am still comfortable with the shape that I'm in. What about you? Are you in good shape - and did you make the same assumptions as I did about the meaning of this question?
The on-line dictionary definition of "to be in good shape" is "to be prepared", giving the following example: "All our bags are packed, and we don't have to leave for another hour, so we're in good shape." However pick up any women's magazine just before the holiday season and their idea of being in good shape is to be slim and tanned, with numerous articles to help you achieve this. Packing your bags in plenty of time just doesn't come into it!
This obsession with being slim and tanned when you hit the beach is a modern phenomenon. Look at Rubens' models - not a skinny tanned wench amongst them! Pale skin used to be fashionable until the days of cheap travel and then everyone wanted to come home sporting a tan from their holiday in the sun. Hopefully the tide is turning though as we start to recognise the dangers of spending too much time in the sun.
I'd like to make it clear that I'm not saying pale skin is better than dark skin - after all I'm freckled, which is a mixture of both! I'm happy to see so many plus size bloggers on the internet, who are stunning ladies and positive role models; on the other hand if you are naturally skinny you are just as gorgeous. I think the media have a lot to answer for, encouraging women to try and change themselves instead of celebrating who and what they are.
Of course once we are over 60 it doesn't matter, as the media practically ignore us. I've lost count of the number of magazines who run features about women of different ages: when you actually read them. it will be women in their 20s, 30s and 40s or (if you're lucky) 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Hello! There are lots of over 60s out here in the real world and some of us enjoy reading magazines too.
I know that I will never be a tall, slim blonde. I can change the colour of my hair if I choose, but I'll always be short and I don't intend starving myself to become slimmer - I enjoy my food way too much. I also accept that I'm never going to be young again. I may feel as if I'm still twenty something, but unfortunately my mirror never lies!
Slim or curvaceous; tall or short; blonde, brunette, redhead or (dare I say it?) grey; pale, tanned, women of colour or freckled faces; young or old: we are all beautiful in our individual ways and we are all in great shape. Yes, that includes you.