I'm sick. Sick and tired of people who think it is okay to judge women based on their appearances. For this article, I will focus on muscles shaming, sexism and misogyny in the fitness industry. It is something that is really important for me to talk about so... here we go.
Definition of Muscles shaming, sexism & Misogyny
What is Muscles shaming?
Muscles shaming is when someone is being criticized, bullied, laughed at for their muscles and bodies or even for their healthy lifestyle. You probably seen comments like these all over social medias when looking at a picture of a muscular girl:
''She looks like a man''
''That's ugly I'm going to puke''
''Too many steroids she has a penis now''
It infuriates me so much. It is also sexist, because we all know that women shouldn't be muscular or do or even like activities that are only for men right? Note my sarcasm here.
What is sexism?
Sexism is prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. It is behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex. It is based on traditional stereotypes of gender roles. Discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex or gender, as in restricted job, opportunities, especially such discrimination directed against women. Ingrained and institutionalized prejudice against or hatred of women; misogyny.
What is misogyny?
Misogyny is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against women or girls. Misogyny is manifest in numerous ways, including social exclusion, sex discrimination, hostility, androcentrism, patriarchy, male privilege, belittling of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification.
Why does it frustrates me so much?
I have always been confronted to sexism. I grew up loving cars, learning about them and their engines. I grew up playing with dinosaurs and at the time, I didn't understand why older people I didn't really know like my teachers were telling me to play with dolls and barbies instead. Then I fell in love with bodybuilding when I was only a kid, in primary school. In high school, I took advanced breakdance classes and was able to do head spins. I also grew up playing soccer and loved to be in the wild, in the forest. Needless to say, I discovered what sexism was at a very young age, even though I had no idea what it meant. Girls were supposed to be interested in Barbies while I was interested in cars, dinosaurs and muscles.
It shook me when I really understood... I never really realized or cared about what it was until before one of my breakdance class. I got to the dance studio a little bit earlier so the class before me was not over yet so there were parents waiting for their kids. I dressed up and when I was about to walk in the dance class when their class was over, an elderly man stopped me, looked at from head to toe me and asked me: ''Where are you going?'' I said ''I'm going to my breakdance class.'' He was still blocking me and looking at me. I said: ''Can you please let me go?'' He answered: ''You're a girl. That's a boys dance. You can't go in there'' He was dead serious. I was petrified, I was shook. I pushed him aside and walked straight forward to the back of the class. Then he left with his daughter. I will never forget that moment.
Now that I'm in the bodybuilding industry, I'm facing more than ever these types of comments but even more, I'm facing disgusting comments about my face, my appearance and I see this happening to almost every girl I know in this industry.
There are also comments sexualizing our bodies. How many ''can I spot your squat?'' did I heard in my life? I would be filthy rich now if I had 1$ every time someone asked me this! There are even people who come up to me and just touch my muscles randomly, without my consent because yes, I hate being touched. Even more, I hate being touched without consent and by people I don't even know. Girls, would you be rich if you had 1$ every time someone talks about your booty or your leggings or your squats? Yes? I thought so.
There are also the social media creeps. The kind that send you messages asking you for your used leggings or etc or even posing videos in exchange of money. Those who creeps you out and won't stop.
We can see you and hear you
After talking with a lot of women and girls, we all came to the same conclusion: we see you looking at us in the mirrors. There is a reason why I always have a hoodie around my hips. I don't want to be looked at and I'm not the only one. There are the ''I'm looking at your booty'' kind of look but also the ''what the fuck is this? It's disgusting ''kind of look.
If you've read my past blog posts, you know I have really bad anxiety. If you haven't, now you know! When I lift weights, I try to be in my own bubble but I can see everything around me. I see people pointing at me, laughing or looking weird. It happens almost every time I go in a small gym. Now I can control more my reactions when it happens but before, every time it happened, I got a panic attack and ended up crying in the washroom.
Can we please just let women be women and let them do whatever they want to without judging them or even telling them what to do? Why are half of the population's rights unquestionable but the other half population's right are always a question of debates and are always unsure?