This image didn’t always piss me off. And others like it didn’t always piss me off. I was used to seeing them, hearing the rhetoric, and was deeply subscribed to the belief that it was normal & appropriate to motivate women this way.
In an industry where it’s often hard to get women to hop on the resistance train, encouraging them with reminders that it’ll turn them into ridiculously hot amazon women seems to work. Women respond to it and if it gets them squatting, the ends justify the means, right? (No. Not right, but we’ll get to that).
Clearly, I don’t feel the same way now. Body love epiphanies and tipping points will do that to you. But if you’re still where I was, and think these images are harmless, here’s some reasons you might want to rethink them.
First, let’s explore “The Making Of A Pro-Squat Fitspo Image For Women”.
A. Find pictures of bootylicious booties, usually headless. If said images aren’t already headless, cut the heads off. Zoom in on booty.
B. Place the words “squat” or “deadlift” all over them. If possible, accompany by a statement (implied or explicit) that those two exercises will make your booty RIDIC HOT, just like the headless girls in the image. Make said booty as sexually explicit as possible by showcasing it in underwear or booty shorts.
C. To really drive the point home, give the comparison treatment: showcase another smaller, flatter booty, (also headless) and dub said booty the ‘BAD non-squatty, non-deadlifty” booty Just another visual, to make sure you know the difference between a good butt and a bad butt.
D. If true fear or shame is what you’re after, apply a hefty dose of “men prefer women who squat, because of course” and duh, you want a hot booty to impress the fellas. The more implications that your ability to be attractive to men depends on squats, the better.
While eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, there is hope. Help is available and recovery is possible.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, they are there to help. Call the toll free, confidential Helpline Monday-Friday, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time: 1-800-931-2237 or click here. The helpline volunteers will be there to offer support and guidance with compassion and understanding.
Here are some general links to the NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) website. The information is for anyone seeking to learn more, help, inform, educate or seek help of their own.
Toolkit downloads: Links not working? Click here.
Everyone should feel safe heading out for a walk or run. EVERYONE.
But the truth is, many women don’t.
I do advise women to take precautions, but I hate having to do so. Victim blaming is very subtle at times, and when something awful h appens to you, the last thing you NEED or want is for someone to say “you should have known better”. Even when every precaution is taken, often media outlets still find someway to place a little blame on the victim.
No one has the right to hurt you. If they choose to do so, they should be held to the highest of legal AND MORAL accountability. To assume that men simply can’t control themselves, and that women are responsible for their own victimization is both insulting to decent men and brutal to women. By FAR the vast majority of men out there are decent, awesome human beings. To assume they are uncontrollable rapists is awful, misinformed and disgusting.
Anyone who asks “Well, shouldn’t she have known better?” or feels that it’s a woman’s responsibility to control the actions of the very FEW who would take advantage of her, needs a reality check.
It’s NOT your fault.
Support: After Silence
It’s really hard to internalize the idea that ‘diets don’t work’. Especially if you’re a frequent dieter. In fact, the more “diets” you’ve tried (and have failed at), the more likely you are to do more (research says most of us have been on at least 61 diets by the age of 45. I know. Read that again and let ALL that crazy sink in.)
The reason why MANY “gurus” support the same “don’t diet” conclusion is honestly because most of us have tried EVERYTHING. We learned it the hard way. We know the ending to the story. We’re adamant about it, only because we care. We’re hoping YOU don’t have to learn it the hard way.
But, in spite of this, so many women still diet themselves into the ground. An average of twice a year, most women are on a “diet” of sorts (some far more). Even women who know diets don’t work. Even women who’ve “failed” using the same diet before. Despite gurus, evidence and life experience that TELLS us these diets don’t work longterm why, oh why, do we still keep going back? I mean 61 diets in 45 years? It seems a little wacko.
Here’s my theory, and I think I’m right. We believe that diets “work” because when things head south and we fall off the wagon, we blame OURSELVES and not the diet. The diet gets all the credit for the short term weight loss, but we get all the blame when it backfires and we regain it all.
Think about it.
“Chichi, how can I lose weight without losing my ______?”
Oh honey bunches. Not quite how it works! But a popular question nonetheless (you can swap out boobs and insert any other body part you like - same difference).
Whether or not you’ll lose your “boobs” (or any other body bits) has to do with where YOUR body distributes it’s fat. Boobs are primarily fatty tissue, so it does make sense that they’ll lose volume along with the rest of you. But how much they’ll lose is all about your genetics - not your workout.
We all carry fat differently: mine is primarily in my belly (first to gain, last to lose). Others carry it in their thighs, hips, legs, boobs, backs, arms, necks etc. We all have bits that have more fat cells than others and it changes from woman to woman. BUT…the size of each cell is the same & all fat gets lost at the exact same rate (pool metaphor: draining a pool means the water will come out at the same rate, but the shallow end will empty WELL before the deep end will). The fat cells in each part of your body get bigger or smaller at the same pace. An area with MORE fat cells is like a deep end. An area with LESS fat cells is like a shallow end.
For fat loss, a woman with MORE fat cells in her breasts may still see changes, but may be able to keep more “boob” than a woman who has LESS fat cells in her breasts.
Dems the breaks. Don’t worry about it.
Instead, focus on other positives: I 100% guarantee you that they outweigh any perceived negatives. Focusing on the 1-2 things that you are unhappy with will certainly produce dissatisfaction. Focusing on the HUNDREDS of other positives will make it seem like a worthwhile trade-off.
I liked my old boobs. But I wouldn’t trade a thing to get them back. That’s the truth. (If they were to suddenly magically appear, I wouldn’t complain either, lol. But I’m not holding my breath).
As women, we’re used to hearing about fitness in terms of inches and dress sizes. We may know better, but we’re up against near-constant reminders and pressures to look good and take shortcuts to get there.
The truth is, being a healthy woman isn’t about getting on a scale or measuring your waistline—and we can’t afford to think that way. Instead, we need to start focusing on what matters–on how we feel, and how we feel about ourselves.
I started thinking about exercise as an investment in myself instead of a chore, and I started focusing on the example I wanted to set for my girls. My schedule was dominated by career and kids–not to mention a very busy husband–but thinking about exercise this way made it a priority, even if I had to get up earlier to do it.
That’s what being fit meant to me: feeling good inside and out, and taking control of my health.
Michelle Obama on fitness, health and investing in ourselves.
Fist pumps all around for this winner of an article! (You have no idea how hard I fought the urge to say ‘breast pumps’ instead).
I struggle sometimes in this industry where rapid weight loss is praised, rewarded and used as inspiration. I’ve just seen too many women brutalize their bodies into quick ‘results’ only to gain it all back and too many women give up on healthy habits when their 10lb goal isn’t hit in a week. Two friends of mine who’ve recently had babies couldn’t help but ‘apologize’ for their slightly bigger appearance when I saw them. As if being a new mom and adjusting to a new busy life was somehow a shitty excuse for why they weren’t back in their skinny jeans yet. What? I smacked ‘em. With love. :)
What happened to the ‘baby moon’? The period of time where you can just connect with the wee one, adjust to momhood and not have to worry about losing that weight?
Happy International Woman’s Day!
If you happen to have a paid holiday today, I think your boss is AWESOME. (for the fellas, it’s your holiday too! Feel free to fist pump just as loud as the rest of us. And we’re LOUD).
To celebrate this awesome occasion AND in the spirit of lady love, positive vibes, and kicking BODY LOVE butt, here are 5 things you should consider. Ideally, these would become everyday ways of being, but we all start somewhere!
1. NO BODY BASHING! Negative thinking and body hate be BANNED. That goes for your body, for ‘her’ body, for ‘their’ bodies. Catch yourself, flip a switch & reframe. ALL BODIES ARE BEAUTIFUL, including yours. Let’s take a day off the ‘I’m so fat’, ‘I hate my thighs’, ‘She’s too skinny’ thinking and see how it feels, okay? Remember, little ladies learn to hate their bodies by watching/listening/reading/interpreting how we treat our own & each others. Pay a wee bit more attention to the messages your unintentionally putting out & taking in.
2. Find non-appearance-related ways to compliment your lady friends, co-workers & family. Women tend to focus TOO heavily on looks when it comes to sending compliments out. Yeah, we all LOVE being told we look great. But for today, let’s explore a little deeper, shall we? Focus on someone’s humor, grace, kindness, wit, strength, ability, attitude, candor, approach, confidence etc. Give ‘em a boost.
3. Reach out. If there’s a lady friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile, why not say hi? People tend to put their best face forward on sites like Facebook: you don’t really know what’s going on with someone unless you check in. A text, a quick message, a (gasp) phone call. SAY ‘HEY’.
4. Step out of your comfort zone! Do something nuts, uncharacteristic or something you’re scared of. Sometimes the BEST bits of us are the ones yet to be discovered. Take a risk & give yourself a pat on the back regardless. You might not realize you needed the confidence boost until you get one. (It can be small! For me, that meant fixing a shelf with an electric drill this morning. First time and I feel BAD ASS. Bring on the construction hat.).
5. Support other women around the world. First world lady problems are bad (body image, diversity, domestic abuse, objectification), but there’s a virtual genocide of women happening right now in many parts of the world. Get informed, spread the word, and take a look at ways you can help in the fight to bring basic human rights to women around the globe: http://www.hrw.org/category/topic/women