Most people have a pretty clear idea of what they think of a woman with muscles. "Eeewwww, gross" is a common phrase uttered upon seeing a picture like the one here:
I completely understand...
However, I think we dismiss strong women too quickly. I think that a woman with muscle should be applauded and appreciated. Not only is she being forced to buck the weight of society's stereotypes off her broad shoulders, but she is striving to achieve something special, something rare: combining beauty and strength.
Traditionally, a man is strong and a woman is beautiful. They are the defining physical traits of both sexes and rarely ever do those traits get mixed up. Yet our hypothetical heavy lifting female friend is trying to do both, on the path to becoming both strong and beautiful. The best of both sexes in one package - the ultimate creation!
I can already hear you muttering...steroids...and yes it's true that many of the over-committed bodybuilding women come unstuck here. They spend too long on the juice, so hellbent on more muscle that they surrender their beauty, as they lose hair, grow deep voices etc. I don't think those women are goddesses - they have wasted their beauty. I still maintain however, that those women who maximise their strength while retaining their beauty are the ideal human beings, as they combine the best physical traits of both genders, see the lovely Anne-Marie Lasserre below:
Trouble is...not many people seem to agree. Women are discouraged from following the path of the goddess because they are worried about the negative reactions they will get from their family and their peers and from men. The traditional perception is that men in particular find women with muscles repulsive. It holds true sometimes, sure, but I believe that quite often that perception is merely the few loud men claiming to be the voice of the many. There are many reasons a man might refuse to admit that he likes strong women (perhaps another mytake in the works...), but let's just say that there are a lot more admirers of strong women out there than you think.
Thankfully the wheel is slowly turning. Instagram is full of gym selfies of women proud of their fit bodies. It's also full of supportive comments of those selfies - from both sexes. We are slowly becoming more accepting.
So I'm asking you today to consider rethinking your view of physically strong women. Give them a chance. If you know one, support their journey. If you are one or want to become one, I fully endorse your choice and I hope everyone in your life does to. Don't be afraid to tell your friends that you find them attractive. You don't have to hide anymore. Let's all appreciate the goddess.