Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On How Women Are 'Supposed' to Look

Warning: minor rant ahead.

A few times of late I've heard people say that muscular women 'aren't supposed to look like that', that they look like men. Well here's the thing, I look like this because I use my body to do what it evolved to do: work hard and move a lot. Our ancestors didn't sit on their butts all day like we do. They walked thousands of miles every year, they hunted (chased!) game on foot, they built their own shelters (sometimes several times a year), they carried their young on their backs, they dug tubers out of the ground and gathered fruit from the tops of trees, they crossed rivers with loads on their backs, they climbed mountains and crossed deserts and rowed boats across entire oceans...they depended on their bodies to be strong and agile, and you can bet your patootie that our foremothers had biceps and pecs and lats every bit as well defined as our forefathers. THAT is how women are supposed to look. That is how our bodies evolved to function. If my body wasn't supposed to look strong and muscular, it wouldn't. All I'm doing is moving. I'm not taking steroids or supplements or even eating a high protein diet. I'm simply using my body the way it was designed to be used, and the result is that I look...GASP...strong. The truth is that I don't look like a man, I look like a strong healthy woman, and people are just so unaccustomed to seeing such a thing that they file me under the heading they're used to filing strong people under, 'man'.

I can do pullups and you know what? You can too. Women are NOT inherently weak, our capacity for strength is far greater than we (and our society) give ourselves credit for. And there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON that we shouldn't use our bodies to their full capacity. In fact, I'd contend that NOT using our bodies to their full capacity is the real disservice.

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