So Anna Medaris Miller wrote this article, What do fit women want? Strong or skinny?, where she claims that women are over “craving runway model’s stick thin figures”.
I mean, what can those bodies do? Besides not eating. Right? Those bodies are the super-villains to our mind-body image. These villainous bodies can:
- Resist chocolate cake with a single dirty look!
- Shrink a dress size with a simple-but-harmful no-eating diet!
- Faint on command!
- Disappear by turning sideways!
Miller addresses a point that, even though strong is healthier than skinny (ummm, DUH), women’s focus is still on appearance rather than achievements — so women continue to struggle with body image issues. She quotes Mary Pritchard:
The female athlete portrays a little bit healthier body image than the Kate Moss, the Twiggy, the super skinny supermodels, but at the same time, it’s still not realistic. We have jobs, we have kids, we have families. Our job is not to look and be like an Olympic athlete. *
I get it. We shouldn’t aspire to just LOOK like an Olympic athlete. Instead let’s challenge women to get strong in order to simply BE SUPERHEROES. Get the focus off aesthetics for a second and instead figure out what a strong body can do. With Superhero bodies we can:
- Carry eight bags of heavy groceries in a single trip!
- Hike Machu Picchu! (My next Spring Break destination. Yesss.)
- Run around with crazy kids and pit bull puppies!
- Sign up on a whim and race in a kayak-run biathlon with no official training!
- Cycle across the country!
What superhero moves can you do right now? What superhero goals are you working towards? Strong bodies empower us to strive towards these physical super achievements in pursuit of general awesomeness.
* NOTE: If a woman is working out so much in pursuit of this Olympic athlete physique ideal that she is neglecting jobs/kids/families then she’s in dire need of a good personal trainer to program efficient workouts. Know her? Send her my way!
PHOTO by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post