Muscles are a sign of toughness and tell a story of a path to success. It is a prized possession that many athletes cherish and that the average person plans to achieve. All athletes should be proud of their bodies, but society is giving out the message that female muscles are unattractive. For female athletes, muscles seem to be a contradiction to society’s picture of the “perfect woman.” Our culture today, depicts the ideal woman as petite, thin while looking “tight and fit.” Unfortunately, that picture perfect woman that society tells us all to be, is extremely hard to achieve and not common today.
Female athletes with muscles have never been described as the perfect body that the average woman wants. Shawn Johnson, Olympic Gold medalist gymnast, has constantly been scrutinized for her body in society. There have been times when she was photographed in regular clothes and called “fat.” This woman is nowhere near fat and in fact extremely fit.
Johnson’s weight led to “hurtful” comments in the tabloids.
“That whole process kind of broke me down and taught me something,” she said. “People put too much emphasis on looks.” -USA Today
Even when she was at the top of the gymnastics world, Johnson battled weight issues.
“I was at the Olympic Games winning medals and I still doubted my image,” she said. “I doubted what I looked like. That’s sad. Girls should be taught different than that. I think everyone should be taught different than that” she said.
Johnson put on the weight after the 2008 Olympics and her 2009 victory on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” She tore her ACL during a freak skiing accident in early 2010 and added some heft to her athletic 4-foot-9 frame. Johnson said she’d perform Internet searches for her name and was horrified at the results.
We seem to have a skewed vision of what is beautiful. We are creating a hurtful world where if a woman puts on 5 pounds, she is seen as fat. Anorexia and Bulimia seem to unfortunately be common problems in today’s world. As a member of a sorority house who lives with 64 other girls, I have seen girls go through these struggles in order to look thin.
Muscles are beautiful. Women should be proud of their muscles, instead of being afraid how society will depict their image. As a society, we need to change our mindset and learn that all women are beautiful.