Ronda Rousey, the UFC’s Women’s Bantamweight Champion, and in my opinion currently the undisputed toughest woman on the circuit, has been under fire for her body, with critics saying she is “too masculine”. Similarly less than a month ago online bullies took to Serena Williams saying she is “built like a man”.
This type of body shaming enrages me!! First of all, who is anyone to call out what another woman’s body looks like? Who are YOU to say that she is “manly” or “feminine”? Hot or not? Sexy or not? Let’s pause and think that maybe these women are building their bodies the way they are because THEY want to look that way. Because THEY want to be able to do things with their bodies that others cannot. Because THEY think they look beautiful, strong and sexy. Maybe they aren’t doing it for a man’s or the media’s approval.
On Facebook this week I posed the question to my friends what they felt of the recent body shaming of Ronda Rousey. The conversation lead to asking the question – why is fit, athletic and muscular only to be associated with men? Are women’s physical traits only to be soft and curvy and thin? I feel that a strong, fit and athletic woman in fact is the ULTIMATE female – there is nothing masculine about this type of female warrior. She is what I define as WOMAN.
We also had many of the men comment on how sexy and hot and attractive she is. And don’t get me wrong, I definitely agree that she is. But that is still objectifying her as body type of men are drooling over rather than looking at her body as she would describe it – using every single muscle for a purpose. If that is not the ultimate female body, I don’t know what is.
In the North America, roughly 25 million women and 12 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or OSFED (Other Specified Feeding Eating Disorder). For various reasons, many cases are likely not to be reported. In addition, many individuals struggle with body dissatisfaction and sub-clinical disordered eating attitudes and behaviors, and the best-known contributor to the development of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is body dissatisfaction. By age 6, girls especially start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat. This concern endures through life (Source: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-facts-eating-disorders)
If we as a society continue to point out all the things WRONG with women’s bodies – from being too fit, to too fat, to too skinny – what are we doing to the minds and confidence of the girls and women of the world? Do we not want to live in a world that is full of confident, self-assured, happy women? Why must we bash others’ appearance in order to feel good about ourselves?
Fat shaming has been something that has been an issue in our society for decades. Now that women are searching for a more athletic build, we are beating them up over that. It is not any different. Making fun of someone because they have a few extra pounds and making fun of someone because they have lots of muscle is simply cruel. Don’t take on the mindset that ‘she can handle it’ just because she is physically strong. That’s a weak excuse and this shaming of women’s bodies needs to stop.