I am strong (or working at it)! I don’t want or need to be sexy. But daily I’m being bombarded with images and people I respect telling me “Strong is the New Sexy”.
Strong is not the new skinny either. Skinny is skinny, strong is strong…both work for different people for different reasons. Why are we so excited to make physically fit women seem less powerful by relating them to terms like skinny and sexy?
Strong: Physically powerful; in good or sound health
Skinny: Very thin, lacking in flesh
Sexy: Intended to provoke sexual interest
I workout because it makes me feel confident and proud, which I fully believe shines through in my outward appearance…but not because I’m trying to look like Twiggy or provoke someone’s interest. Is it no longer acceptable to simply want to feel our best? Test our limits?
We finally started move away from thinsporation (skin-and-bones) to focus on building healthy fit bodies, but it quickly morphed in to fitsporation (seriously lean and chiseled). The fitness and health industry strives on insecurity which is created by striving after ideals on the far end of the spectrum. It’s not to say that it can’t be achieved, but there is a reason it’s an ideal and not the norm.
I fully admit that many of the fitness images on Pinterest motivate me. Just as reading a great running book motivates me because I have an idea in my mind of what strong and healthy for ME looks like.
But have come to realize that life is a balance of pushing myself to achieve more and appreciating exactly where I am. Which is why in my running I often cycle through periods of aiming for a PR and simply running because it brings me a whole lot of joy.
A great deal of respect goes out to women like Laura and Candy who train HARD and focus on clean eating to reach their fitness competition goals. Thus I would never negate their dedication by equating them to skinny or sexy.
Part of what has continued to draw me to the Under Armour What’s Beautiful platform is that is serves as SUPPORT system rather than a competition of women who are all defining beautiful in their own way. If you are on social media or in the blogosphere you’ve probably seen a jump recently in posts about “What’s Beautiful”. Though I’ve been on the platform for over a year, I am excited to be refocusing on it with Fitfluential. I’ll be talking more about it later, but if you’d like to get connected for some support in your own journey to getting strong, here is the team page I’ve start Clean and Lean Team and my Personal Profile page
I’ve got to ride off on my high horse now, but I’d love to hear your thoughts.