"I Don't Wanna Look Like a Man"
"I don't lift weights because I don't want to get muscular and look like a man."
I have heard this phrase, or a variation of it, one too many times and this nonsense needs to stop, ladies. I don't know who started this myth that the minute you touch a dumbbell you are going to sprout huge traps and loose your boobs. Oh, if only it were that easy for us ladies who do want muscles. The strong women that you do see that you might find "too muscular" worked their asses off to look like that. Years of dedication and sacrifices were made in order to build their bodies, so to think that you will ever look like that by doing a few bicep curls makes me laugh. I can go into all the benefits of weight training and how imperative it is for women to lift weights in addition to cardio, but there are a ton of articles out there about that. What I do want to discuss is how women are actually the ones who are fueling this stigma and keeping it alive.
After finishing college, I decided to get more serious about fitness and dialing in on my diet because I was unhappy with the way I looked and felt. After making some lifestyle changes, I was starting to see results and I was hooked. As I was going through these changes and as my physical appearance was evolving, I would once in a while get comments from people close to me saying, "Don't get too muscular, boys don't like that." Keep in mind, this would be coming from another woman and from what I can remember, never a man. It blew my mind that other women would be trying to put a limit on what I should achieve based on what they believe a man preferred. Lucky for me I have a "no fucks" personality, so that noise went in one ear and out the other, and to this day I keep on pushing myself to achieve what I believe is the perfect body. Other women though, are not so lucky and are affected by others opinions and how people view them. In turn, these negative thoughts resonate with them and they change their mindset from doing what is best for themselves, to doing what is best for others.
Being a girl who lifts I follow tons of fitness influencers on social media. While most of the comments are of praise and admiration, there are always those few assholes who throw in some cheap shot comment saying "Gross" or "Is that a man?". Again, these are coming from women, not just men which is appalling. I don't understand it. Especially in the world we are living in, the last thing we as women should be doing is judging and insulting each other. What we should be doing is building each others confidence up! Screw what a man thinks of your muscles, his opinion is IRRELEVANT to you.
Fitness and strength training in general has given me so much confidence and reassurance of who I am as a woman. My self esteem is through the roof and I am so proud of all of my accomplishments, inside and outside of the gym, that fitness has allowed me to achieve. And in case you're wondering, I don't look like a man and my boothang doesn't think so either ;)
I leave you now with my favorite #powercouple of all time, Rob and Dana Linn Bailey. Just listen to how Rob speaks about his wife in the beginning of the video. That is how a real man should speak of a woman.