In most sports even outside the strength world, the message continues to be clear. Women exist to turn men on sexually, first, as our primary means of measuring self-worth, even during an athletic competition. Hey that’s cool that you have a 500lb squat, but what do you look like in a bikini? Oh sweetie, men don’t care about your world record dumbbell lift, they just want to you look sexy in a dress. Nice deadlift, but you really need to get a boob job! And above all else, remember it’s not “sexy” to compete as a heavyweight athlete as a woman.
Telling us to always love our bodies is just another way of teaching women to require perfection in themselves. The only thing that could be loved all the time is a perfect thing. Everything else has flaws. There isn’t anything on the planet that any of us unconditionally loves all the time, and we should be allowed to include our own damn bodies on that list.
“Be the bigger person is bullshit advice. My bigness is not determined by my capacity to quietly absorb bullying, degradation, or abuse.” – author unknown
Recently, a friend of mine shared one of YLLAM’s Facebook posts. One of the responses from a man was, “Have you thought about not caring?”
Three years ago, after a life-long struggle with body image, an unsuccessful attempt at an online nutrition-coaching service, and a pointed realization about how I wanted to live my life as a strength athlete, I decided to get a tattoo on my quad. It was three simple words in Times New Roman font: TAKE UP SPACE.