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.
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