Women’s Only: Muscular Does Not Mean Masculine
I was shopping for a dress at a boutique recently. The type of place that you have to step out of the dressing room to see the only mirror, so the saleswomen can tell you how fabulous you look. I found a sexy little dress and the saleswoman said she had the perfect thing to accompany it. I was sure it was going to be a necklace she was going to try and upsell me. However, she returned with a sweater. It was July.
“To minimize your arms,” she said.
Not only did I not purchase the sweater, I didn’t purchase the dress either. In the words of Vivian in Pretty Woman: “Big mistake. Big. Huge!”
I have always been muscular. I was an athlete throughout college, and something that comes with being an athlete is muscle that allows you to perform at your best.
There was a time when I tried to hide my muscles. I bought into the media stereotype that the thinner you are the better you are. I was living in Los Angeles when I attempted to change my body into something it wasn’t. I spent at least three hours a day on the treadmill and ate iceberg lettuce for an entire month. I lost weight, but I also lost my happiness. I didn’t have the energy to do anything fun, and I was so hungry that I became a horrible person to be around. Which resulted in me being hungry and lonely.
“Why was I trying so hard to shrink away? I had to wonder: How is something considered to be an asset to a man so often seen as a disadvantage for a woman?”
And what is even more disturbing is that women are imposing this pressure on themselves. From my own personal experiences, a guy has never had a negative thing to say about my arms; it isn’t exactly the body part that men focus on. Most guys are attracted to woman who is confident in her skin. The word “feminine” means having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with women. I’m a woman, and I have muscles; therefore, I must be feminine. If muscles are not traditionally associated with women, then I propose we change that.
Muscles are sexy, period.
Nothing celebrates a strong body more than CrossFit. When I walked into my first CrossFit box, I saw women who were celebrating their athleticism, not trying to hide it. Where being called a beast is a compliment. Not because we are ugly, but because we are expressing our untamed valor to achieve our personal best.
I have been doing CrossFit for over two years now. My body has changed. I have gone down sizes yet become stronger. My muscles haven’t gotten much bigger; they have just become more defined. Women who are afraid to get “bulky” from CrossFit need to take a trip to their local box. What they will find is women in all shapes and sizes, at all different levels, and who encourage each other.
When the saleswoman assumed I would want to cover up my muscular shoulders and arms, she failed to realize how hard I worked to get them. How I took my body further than I ever thought it could go. Why should I hide that?
Women are strong, powerful and beautiful. If our bodies are a reflection of that, it should be celebrated.
A. For time
Run 1 mile
B. 10-1 reps for time