- Fit Pros
- Resource Centre
This one is for all my beautiful, strong women followers! Welcome to 2021 where we are going to set the record straight: STRONG is BEAUTIFUL.
As a woman in fitness, I find it extremely disappointing that in 2021, women in the gym who look strong and can lift heavier weights are still being criticized with negative comments such as, “You look too masculine”, or are being questioned about their femininity. Both as a trainer and an athlete in the gym, there have been too many occasions where I have heard comments such as, “Why do you work out so much? Aren’t you scared you’ll get too big?” Or, “You’re a woman - you don’t need to be lifting that heavy”. These comments can come from either men or women, but regardless of the source, all the comments imply that being or looking strong is negative.
It’s time to change this narrative and educate those around us that being and looking strong should only be associated with positivity and beauty! Being strong encompasses far more than defined muscles or lifting heavy weights. Being strong translates into dedication, hard work, and passion - all of which are positive qualities to associate with a person.
What most people don’t realize is that when they make negative comments or ask questions regarding someone else’s fitness goal, it invalidates and demeans that person’s dedication. Imagine putting in the hours of hard work to achieve your goal only to be challenged with, “Why”? Why did you want to accomplish that fitness goal if you look like or come off as _______”? Regardless of the fill-in-the-blank description, these kinds of comments result in self-doubt and emotional distress for the recipient.
The most common comments I receive about my physical appearance are that I have a “boyish” or “sturdy” frame. I have wide lats, strong shoulders, and minimal curves creating a more “boxy” physique. In addition, I always get asked, “Why do you lift that heavy? You don’t have to…”. Or, “Do you really want to get a bigger upper body”? As a young woman in fitness, it took me some time to realize that all these unsolicited opinions were both unwarranted and unimportant. The only opinion that mattered was mine alone, and my opinion was that I had a strong athletic physique that allowed me to challenge the impossible and feel both beautiful and proud while accomplishing it!
My best advice for young women who are setting challenging goals for themselves in the gym is to never fear being too strong. Never let the opinions of others influence how feminine you look and feel because at the end of the day, being strong both physically and emotionally are the most beautiful things you can be. So keep lifting!