I haven’t been blogging as much as I’d like lately but I just got so fired up by a comment on social media that I had to let this out… (Advisory: Major Rant To Follow!!!)
Not a lot of things make my blood boil faster than women ripping on other women for feeling empowered, confident in their own skin, and unashamed to feel sexy.
Actually wait- just women ripping on women in general.
And while mean girls existed long before social media, it now makes it so much easier… And more a part of our daily lives.
In our society women are sexualized, and judged by their appearance NO MATTER WHAT.
I can remember being objectified since the age of 13 by grown men, at the county fair or the mall with friends. Mind you I had a glorious set of colored braces on at the time too. Pretty disgusting, but that is just the reality of growing up female.
And while I’ve taken my share of blows and cheap shots for the sexier images I produced in photo shoots through my mid-twenties, I’ve also gotten cat calls, whistles and comments while on the stairmaster at a gym, in sweat pants and an oversized hoodie, pouring sweat, no makeup on with a “GET LOST, I’m doing cardio!” look plastered on my sweaty face.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, right?
While men are judged on their merit, their intelligence, career, sense of humor and level of success, women continue to be pushed under a harsh microscope and a narrow standard of beauty, and judged by their appearance first and foremost.
A politician like Sarah Palin is the butt of demeaning jokes for her appearance when society deems her attractive. But a politician like Hillary Clinton gets torn apart for her appearance as well, for being deemed not attractive, and gets ridiculed by her choice to wear pantsuits.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!
The never-ending focus on appearance teaches our girls that to get ahead in life they have to be attractive, and if they are not, they will not have the same doors opened for them. Society teaches our girls that their worth is determined by their looks and their bodies, and everything else is secondary, because no one will take them seriously if they do not measure up to what’s considered attractive.
There is a HUGE spectrum of what could be classified as a “sexy photo” on the internet, but I can honestly say I am proud of every photo shoot I’ve ever done, and so are my Mom and Dad.
My Mom, who is a good Christian woman and one of the best human beings I know, always told me “women have such a short time in their lives where they actually get to feel sexy. So when you do, enjoy that time, feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin.”
I NEVER believed I was good-looking, attractive or sexy until my mid-twenties when I began to compete and pursue fitness modeling… So for me the shoots that are sexy in nature were never about objectifying myself… Or striving to attract male attention… But rather to prove to myself I was something I never believed I could be.
In the fitness industry the line gets especially unclear- what’s acceptable and what is “too much” because the nature of the industry is about working hard to create an aesthetically stunning physique.
I’ve always strived to keep photos extremely tasteful and classy, but two years ago I made a conscious decision to transition from bikini competitor and fitness model to full-time business owner and coach. At that time I was also approaching 28 years old, and I was ready to transition to a (slightly) more conservative image.
The comment I read today was on a photo of me in a bikini. Not lingerie, not implied nude. A bikini that I have worn on a beach or at a pool.
The comment came from another female, questioning me and the supplement company I’m affiliated with on our morals. Almost the exact same incident occurred last Saturday- different photo in a bikini- same comment, meant to make me feel ashamed, indecent, unchaste.
The comments pissed me off, but they didn’t serve the purpose the writers intended. I don’t feel any of those things. NOT ONE BIT.
In all the things that I do, and all the areas my career affects, there is nothing more rewarding to me than EMPOWERING other women to live richer, happier lives by encouraging positive self image.
Fitness is an amazing way for women to feel more confident… To feel STRONGER, inside and out.
Fitness saved me. I had zero self worth before I found this great passion of mine.
And now I live to serve others, passing along my knowledge and experience so that they too, can feel better about themselves. So they too, can learn self-love and self-worth.
I think every single woman out there knows what it is like to feel unworthy, undeserving, insecure, self-conscious, or less than amazing…
Why would you want to MAKE someone else feel that way?
And why does someone else feeling GOOD about themselves make some people so uncomfortable?
We should all strive to be a little kinder and a little less judgmental. Not just women to women… I mean everyone, but I think we all know woman-on-woman hatred is a real problem, and it really upsets me more than I can say.
Alright. Rant over.
I had to get that off my chest… I think it has been boiling up for the past 6 years or so.
Back to lifting others up… Let’s leave people better than we found them. Let’s keep our unkind opinions and judgments to ourselves.
I promise you it is so easy to hit “unfollow” and not support things you don’t agree with on social media- without attacking anyone. Let’s do more of that.