I read an article which tackled the, suddenly very popular, catch phrase, “Strong is the new skinny”. The article, which can be found here, touches on how that phrase has essentially redefined the way some women view their bodies; where “skinny” used to be the ideal form, now it’s all about having a strong, lean, and muscular physique.
The question is this: has the changing of that ideal made women more or less paranoid about what they see in the mirror?
Many women, however, still balk at hefting weights, citing the age-old — but inaccurate — myth that strength training will somehow bulk them up. As of last count, in fact, only 4 percent of adults, men and women combined, were meeting muscle-strengthening guidelines set by the government (which recommends strength-training activities for all major muscle groups two or more times a week), according to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey.
No doubt putting a focus on strength is beneficial, especially when it comes to redefining societal norms of women’s bodies. But it doesn’t come without some backlash. Some experts worry this mantra may put additional pressure on women to look a certain way. Strong the new skinny? You be the judge. (Karen Asp, Oxygen Mag, 6/26/14)
In my opinion, there will always be some unattainable body image women are expected to fit into; that’s the way of the world—men control a fair majority of the images, so the “ideal” will always be whatever is most attractive and clickable to them at the time—but that doesn’t mean you have to accept those norms.
The commitment to good health comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter if you look like Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Akinwale, Jennifer Hudson or Jill Scott, the goal is to make good food choices, exercise regularly, and be comfortable enough in your own skin to not give a damn about the definitions placed upon your bodily appearance. You have to discover what the best you looks like…and that image might not be the one staring back at you from the magazine rack.
You define you. Period.