Unless youʼve been hiding under an internet shielding rock the past few
years, Iʼm sure the term ʻstrong is the new skinnyʼ has breezed across your
computer screen once or twice. I totally understand and value the thought behind
this message, empowering women to jump off the treadmills and get in the
weight room, asserting that being muscular or capable is nothing to be ashamed
of but more something to be celebrated. I think itʼs great, I really do. I think it truly
promotes a healthy approach to a fitness lifestyle that deters women from
believing their place is solely amongst the cardio machines and 10lb dumbbells,
as we all likely know there is an entire world of options when it
comes to ways to exercise or build a solid body…but who decides what strong
is anyways?

As women, I find its common for us to seek ways (sayings on Pinterest
mostly) that try and validate or justify the social differences we see in ourselves. But there
is a fine line between self acceptance and shaming others body types or
mindsets. The ʻstrong is the new skinnyʼ thing is cool, but in my opinion ʻstrongʼ is
subjective. I fully support the strong women movement, but I reject the idea that
this is ʻthe new skinnyʼ. I realize I am completely taking this out of context, but I
think anything that is going to have resounding influence calls to be
dissected from all angles. Like I said, I fully support the message of expanding
your horizons beyond plyometrics and running 10 miles a day, but if thats what
makes you happy and leaves you feeling fulfilled, then I fully support that too.
Take Angelina Jolie for example, you’d look at her and from a physical perspective generally think ʻskinnyʼ
right? But what about the strength it took for her to have a double mastectomy
followed by removing both ovaries in a preventative attempt to side step the
possibility of cancer growth? The word strong has been redefined here, again,
strong is subjective. You can bash celebrities and magazine ads all you want
for promoting skeletal versions of beauty, but even spotlighted TV personalities
like Giuliana Rancic whoʼs been criticized for years about her dwindling weight has pulled
through some pretty tough shit (like infertility and breast cancer) that I would
commend her strength for.

I think we need to broaden our ideals on what strong is and realize there
isnʼt anything wrong with being skinny either. Itʼs shitty that we demean people
for doing what they can to try and improve themselves to the best of their knowledge and ability.
Plus itʼs a matter of preference! Weʼre in this for our own personal improvement
right? So what the hell business is it of yours or mine to bash what ʻsheʼ is doing
going to a Globo Gym squatting 45lbs for 1/4 reps? Its the same thing as people
getting annoyed with the New Years Resolutioners flooding gyms in January,
everyone is just trying to get better, and whatever that means for them is none of
our concern. We all have our own ideas of what beautiful is, and we all have our
own ideas of what it will take us to get there, whether thats nothing at all, weightlifting, running
marathons or 20 plastic surgeries…itʼs totally personal.

Iʼm just saying, we shouldnʼt have to put negative connotation around one
body type to support another. No one is less or more based on what kind of
shape they may or may not be in. Iʼm sick of the pressure women are putting on
other women these days to stop making THEMSELVES feel inferior, thats what
it is right? Weʼre so sick of feeling pressured to be skinny that now weʼre
pressuring the skinny girls to get strong! Oh the irony…I say we redirect our energy
towards supporting each other and affirming steps towards general self improvement,
instead of trying to get everyone to walk OUR path. Let’s commend each other, and try new things!
Strong isnʼt the new skinny, strong is just a subcategory, weʼre all human women
and sometimes just being that is hard enough.

  1. May 18, 2015

    Couldn’t agree more.. Bottom line .. We are all different, we are each individual’s with different preferences in what we enjoy, what we are good at, what we struggle with, etc. I think instead of focusing on being strong or skinny or whatever we should promote being the best you, you can be… Help each other to be the best, enjoy and learn from each other’s differences.. Why are we always trying to make everyone the same? Why are we always trying to create boxes and then telling everyone they need to fit in the box no matter how much it hurts.. Makes no sense to me!

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