‘You look like a dude’: Why comments about my muscles no longer bother me
“You look like a dude!”
“Why would you want to look like that?”
“You looked fine just the way you were before.”
“What were you thinking?”
“Yuck! What did you do to yourself?”
As a professional CrossFit athlete, I get comments like this on social media all the time. Not to mention, plenty of stares in public.
Trust me, I get it. I clearly don’t look like the average woman.
The funny thing is, I didn’t start doing CrossFit to look a certain way. I started doing CrossFit because I wanted to improve my fitness and have fun doing it. Then it became more about competing and capitalizing on my newly discovered talents. Add in eight years of dedication and hard work and poof, here I am, muscles and all.
I’d be lying if I said these comments about my appearance didn’t bother me.
The turning point for me, however, was the moment that I realized that I could use my power for good.
It was about three years ago when young women, teenage girls and daughters of other athletes in the fitness world started stopping me for pictures, messaging me on social media and sending me fan mail to tell me how I inspired them to be better. In some of the letters they requested my autograph and said that if they ever meet me, they’ll want their picture taken with me. That’s when I knew I wanted to embrace my body and every bulging muscle and curve. When I realized I had the ability to influence.
I have made it one my greatest aspirations, as an athlete, to help redefine strength as beauty.
It’s safe to say that some women in the fitness world have already begun redefining what society thought was physically possible for women through body transformations and performance. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of when it’s maintained, trained and fed properly.
I’m proud of the ladies who are owning it – the muscles and the thickness. We are inspiring young girls and young women all over the world to be healthier.
The negative comments I still see on social media only add fuel to my fire. What caused self doubt for me in the beginning, now gives me a great sense of pride, accomplishment and purpose. I am passionate about building a positive body image and ending body-shaming.
I hate to burst your bubble, insecure people on the other end of those rude comments, but strong is the new sexy, and strength is the new beautiful. I’m a healthy, confident, fit and perfectly capable female. More importantly, I am making a difference – a very positive difference. What are you doing?