Yesterday, I went to a bar with one of my friends (who also does CrossFit) to watch the evening events of the CrossFit Games. The event we were watching was the individual women’s Sprint Carry, which was:
100 yard sprint
100 yard carry (60 lb cylinder)
100 yard sprint
100 yard carry (80 lb sandbag)
100 yard sprint
100 yard carry (100 lb cylinder)
There was a gentleman sitting next to me that was there alone who decided to start making small talk. After talking about the StubHub Center (where the Games are held) for a bit, he decided to begin commentary about the event we were watching. He made a comment about how the women “look like men.” Furthermore, every time he made a comment about something one of the competitors was doing, he referred to her as a “man,” such as, “Oh, that man is struggling.”
I wanted to toss this guy out of his chair. These women are performing incredible acts of athleticism, and yet the only thing he felt was worth commenting on was how they looked, and in a derogatory way no less. I understand that not everyone finds a muscular physique attractive (on men or women), but I have been utterly perplexed by the fact that men so often comment on a picture of a strong, muscular woman by stating how unattractive she is to them. As if any woman’s purpose in life is to strive to become a man’s ideal of what is attractive. As if any athlete should take into account what a complete stranger finds attractive in pursuing their own idea of excellence, whether it’s their physique or their sport.
The interesting thing is that most fit men appreciate an athletic female body. It seems like the men most likely to criticize a fit woman’s physique are themselves exceptionally out of shape. If those women “look like men,” then what exactly is it that those naysayers look like?
I ended up keeping my mouth shut and ignoring the guy’s comments. However, once he began to bash CrossFit, I informed him that my friend and I were both CrossFitters. He changed his tune a bit after that.
Women are not meant to simply decorate a man’s world, to be pretty things to look at with no function or minds of their own. Don’t cater to the opinion of others. You are entitled to your own dreams and goals that have nothing to do with anyone else. Don’t let someone else’s narrow-minded opinion take the wind out of your sails or make you doubt the passionate pursuit of those things for one second. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I saw this video posted on Facebook earlier this week and wanted to share it. It’s called Letting Beauty Speak. An excerpt is below:
There are people who spend their entire lives allowing the reflection in the mirror determine their self-esteem, submitting to a cultural judgment established decades ago. But in CrossFit gyms all over the world, mirrors are conspicuous by their absence. Fitness is gauged in reps, speed, power, virtuosity – and beauty is measured in joy, in pride. To recognize and accept the body’s gifts and shortcomings, and impose discipline over them is for many where beauty begins. And then beauty is no longer fleeting, but becoming.