I saw a video this morning on Facebook. A trailer for the movie MissRepresentation… Before continuing to read, please take the 8 minutes to watch it here (if you didn’t already via Facebook).

It’s a little scary, isn’t it? How much girls, boys, even those of us now adults, were inundated growing up with all of this imagery of what we’re supposed to look like and how we’re supposed to act, who we need to be to have value. I know the whole “women are poorly portrayed” is practically a given at this point, but I think sometimes we forget the effect it has.

Do you remember how old you were when you started worrying about how much you weighed, how you looked, and less about who you were…because those things determined who you were. Or at least that’s what we thought. I remember being 14 and not wanting to eat a pizza because I thought it was going to make me fat and then no one would like me. Mind you, I’m over that now and will happily eat most anything that crosses my path.

I agree with their look at the effect it’s had on men, as well. How many damsel in distress movies and stories were we all told growing up where she needed the prince to save the day? How many movies does the happy ending only come when the guy shows up? In the little mermaid, Ariel gives up her whole freaking family to be with a guy she stalked then spent a week with. How many male characters are out there who are rewarded for treating women like crap or female characters who are getting book deals and on magazine covers for being out of control disasters or having a sex tape (I’m looking at you, reality tv)?

The whole time I was watching this video I could only think of one thing:

Everyone should start doing CrossFit as soon as they can….like yesterday.

No, not this because I drank the Kool-Aid a few years ago and think it’s the be all end all of fitness. I thought this because of the shift it’s caused in “What is beauty” and what is expected of women within this unique community. Men aren’t threatened by the strong women of CrossFit, they are encouraged by them. It seems to me, that when I do a workout with the same weight as some of the guys, high fives are not far away. Those accolades and that spirit are not gone throughout the entire WOD, even if a girl beats that crap out of them. On a personal level, my boyfriend, coach, and owner of my gym, LIKES IT when I choose a heavier weight, when I beat the guys, when I’m covered in sweat and chalk trying to get 145 lbs over my head.

Let’s talk about the aesthetics of it all. Every single magazine has some version of this tagline on the cover

images

“What you can do to be skinny and hot like this celebrity we photo shopped the hell out of and get people to like you.”

In the interview, I’m sure she says something like this gem that came out of the mouth of Blake Lively in 2012:

“I eat cupcakes and I don’t work out!…I don’t even drink water. It’s terrible!”

Or Jenny McCarthy on Oprah in 2010, when she said something along the lines of she hates exercising so she just walks her dogs.

OK ladies, we totally believe you. So what’s wrong with ME? How come you just walk your dogs, eat cup cakes all day, and look like that…yet here I am, running all day, going to the gym and eating salads that a RABBIT would turn down but I don’t look like that, too??

It’s downright insulting.

How stupid are we going to continue to let these magazines think we are? We buy them EVERY MONTH with the new trick to ‘flat abs’ or the ‘diet you can eat pizza on!’.  Here’s a hint: if any of that shit actually worked…there would be no need for the magazines. See the problem, here?

Not only that, how many magazines, tv shows and websites are covered with pictures of the supposed most beautiful people in the world (the very people they put on their cover), talking about how they look awful today, or have a spec of cellulite, or their makeup looks bad. If these are the people that get PAID to look good…what the hell am I supposed to do?

Enter CrossFit. You rarely hear the women at CrossFit talking about how they want to be skinny. In fact, you often hear something along the lines of “Oh I hate that word. I’d rather be strong. I want to be healthy. I want to feel good.” Interesting. What are our goals? Do a muscle up? Increase our dead lift, or clean, or squat? Get a better Fran time? Do the workouts at Rx and stop scaling?

GET STRONGER.

So who are the women we look up to?

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, who FINISHED the games with a 2:34 Fran

Two-Time Fittest Woman on Earth, Annie Thorisdottir

Julie Foucher took 2nd at the 2012 Crossfit Games in Carson, CA

Sure, they’re not hard to look at, but that’s not why women buy their Games ‘jerseys’ or hang posters. It’s not why we aspire to their level. We want to be strong like them. We want to be able to run with the best, and these women are the best in the world. The strongest, the most inspiring. Don’t get it twisted, the men of CrossFit love these women, too. I’d venture to say even more so than the girls on Shape Magazine this month. Yes, when you work hard, the weight will come off and a body you’re proud of will follow.

That begs the question:

Are you proud of it because of what it looks like, or because of what you know it can do?

I honestly believe that CrossFit is the single best thing a woman can do for her self esteem, and the best thing a man can do to see what real women are made of. We don’t need your help putting our weights back. We want to go side by side with you for time and see who comes out on top. We have calluses. We have muscles. We brag when we get a new PR. We always want to get better, stronger, faster. When you fall, we will cheer you on until you rise back up. CrossFit has changed the way I view everything from how I see myself, what I eat, how I exercise, and what I want to achieve physically. Gone are the days of “I want to loose weight so I can be skinny like everyone else.” The days of “I want to eat right and exercise everyday so my workouts get even better, so I feel even better.” are here to stay.

They say we learn the most from our parents. That we start to form our opinions of ourselves, of what’s important, from them. What would you rather your daughters see? You talking about how much weight you need to lose? Complaining that you’re too fat? What do you think that tells her?  Now there are girls who see their moms kicking ass. Can you imagine being a 7 year old girl, and watching your mom bust her butt doing a workout, getting applause, high fives, and cheers the whole time? What do you think you would strive to be? CrossFit forces focus on function over form. On what you’re doing over what the scale says. No one can tell you what you can do, who you can be, and if you’re good enough. YOU determine that. YOU determine your own value. So what is sexy? What is beautiful? What are your goals? It’s time for you to decide for yourself.

10309_10100172670199512_1466776183_n-1

That’d be me.

3,2,1…Go!