You hit like a girl: Why this is a compliment and not an insult
Let me tell you a short story that happened to me about half a year ago. I had to go to the doctor a few times because I was having problems with my knees. My usual doctor was ill that day so I had my appointment with his substitute. A good-looking man, with a compelling smile, confusingly white teeth and a firm handshake. It was hard to guess his age, maybe around 40, but he seemed younger because he smiled a lot. However, there was something about him I didn’t like.
Nothing was out of the ordinary, until the end of the consultation, when I asked him: “I have been doing Karate and Krav Maga for some time and I recently started boxing. Do you think it is okay to continue or is it too dangerous for my knees?” He replied with the following: “I can’t see why such a beautiful girl like you should do martial arts.”
As you could probably guess I couldn’t have cared less about this doctor’s opinion what sports I should or shouldn’t do. Still, his comment hurt.
Doing sports makes me feel powerful. When I climb, box or lift weights I feel like I can achieve anything I want to. I deeply admire all girls and women who do the sports they love and are damn good at it.
It’s 2017, and feminists all over the world have been fighting for women’s rights for hundreds of years. By now, we should have achieved equality between women and men. Women should be able to do whatever sports they want, when they want, without getting judged for it.
“Anybody can do any sport they want as long as they enjoy it”, says Kayleigh, Boxercise instructor at the University of Stirling. Boxercise is a high intensity workout that combines boxing elements with aerobic exercise. I noticed that mainly girls attend her classes, even though boxing still might be considered by some people – for example my orthopaedist – as not a very “ladylike” sport. “It’s great that girls also start to feel that they can participate in these kind of sports”, Kayleigh tells me. “The perception on that changed a lot in the last few years. People start to accept that girls can do it just as well as guys.”
Unfortunately, not everyone shares her opinion. I have a friend who does a lot of sports like weightlifting and exercise classes. A guy she was seeing told her: “I don’t think it’s very sexy that you can lift more weight than I do.” She is not bulky at all, her arms are just nicely defined and even if she had arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger it’s her body, so what gives him the right to tell her how her arms should look?
However, it’s not only men who might judge our bodies. Sports and body image are very strongly connected and to get in shape is without a doubt one of the biggest reasons why people work out. Fit is the new slim and people are happy to share their workouts on social media. Instagram and others play an integral role in promoting unrealistic body images like slim thighs, sexy butts, defined abs’ – and all of that combined with the perfect tan. The tan is probably the most unachievable, at least here in Scotland.
Luckily, there are more and more people who admit that the world on Instagram is an artificial one. Imre Cecen is an Instagrammer and Blogger from the Netherlands who shows us that these pictures don’t illustrate the reality, but are just an illusion created from great photoshop skills, perfect lighting, and timing.
‼️DIFFERENT KIND OF "KEEP IT REAL"‼️ I know some people are all done with the "keep it real" pictures so I thought I'd try a new one😅 I find this one kinda hilarious🙈chilling by the pool instagram vs real life👙 . Anyone familiar with the concept of having all "normal" legs when you're standing but as soon as you sit down they transform into huge piles of meat?🍖😂 Why is it that those 2 sticks we use to walk expand to the size of Texas whenever they touch a chair?😅 . This is the most NORMAL thing ever yet us girls seem to be so self conscious about it😔 Hello! Your legs are being pushed against a surface, they are supposed to expand! This doesn't mean you're fat🙅🏻 Even muscle will just look like a huge shapeless pile of meat when there's no flexing involved🍖 If you don't want your legs to expand maybe invest in stone legs!⛰⛏ I'd choose marble ones💁🏻😂 . We've just lost touch with reality because on the internet all we see are those freaking hot dog legs🌭 I am guilty of posting those too! Yet even I wondered on my last vacay why my legs were so "big" when I sat down. 😅 . Thought I'd take a good comparison pic and I'm pretty sure I've got a hernia now😅 Creating that thighgap & skinny legs feel was real hard😵 I had to arch my back like crazy, hold my legs up (serious ab work was involved) and had to sit on the edge of the pool which caused me to almost fall. Both my camera & I would have drowned in the sadness of insta perfection (I would survive the water though, I can swim!🙆🏻) To people who do sit like this in real life; I admire your core strenght & willpower! . Yep, that's the truth behind poolside hotdog pics. Truth be told I'd much rather sit like that right pic whilst enjoying an actual hotdog🌭 What is your fave poolside snack? Kinda wanted to hold a piece of watermelon whilst taking this but it turns out that's only for advanced instagram posing😅 I couldn't hold myself up, flex them abs, hold a watermelon & take pics at the same time😂 Guess I better start practicing for my next vacay!💁🏻 . Ps. I don't think there's anything wrong with the way my legs look in the pic on the right. Just showing you the difference! 🌭 vs 🍖 = both yummy🙆🏻
Sports should be about so much more than just the struggle for a perfect body.
Kayleigh bursts into laughter, when I ask her my last question, what she would tell a girl, who is afraid to get too bulky from boxing. “I do hear that a lot”, she says. “But that won’t happen. Boxing will give you a nice tone and it’s also a great cardio workout.”
So, ladies! Don’t be afraid to do the sports you’re passionate about, whether its climbing, boxing, yoga, dancing or something completely different. Don’t worry too much how you might look. Doing something you love makes you happy and happy girls are always the prettiest.
Share your own story with the hashtag #stirpowergirls.