Why athletes are key to the body positivity movement

Athletes are proof to the world that you should embrace the natural physique you are born with and use it to your ability to do amazing things. For example Olympic shot putter Michelle Carter was born with a physique which allowed her to gain mass and muscle which was ideal for her sport, speaking to Today she stated that “We want [female athletes] to take care of themselves, feel their best, eat healthy and understand that it’s OK to have muscles—because in some sports, you need those muscles, We don’t want to put them in a box. We want to take away the box so they can be all they can be.” Carter is supported and loved by millions of fans across the globe after her performance in the 2016 summer Olympics where she won a gold medal. Athletes prove to the world that you should ditch the idea of trying to look good in the eyes of society and instead you should accept who you are and try to be the best version of yourself that you can be.
Other notable athletes that have joined forces with the body positivity movement include Serena Williams, The Olympic tennis player and grand slam champion told SELF magazine in a recent interview, “I love my body, and I would never change anything about it, “I’m not asking you to like my body. I’m just asking you to let me be me. Because I’m going to influence a girl who does look like me, and I want her to feel good about herself.”
The reason I believe that sport can change the way we see body positivity is because I imagine young girls sat at home watching the TV, they don’t see the woman in the same way they normally would through main stream media. Instead they see a woman carrying a trophy being called a winner whilst being covered in sweat and not giving a damn what anybody else is thinking of their body, they are truly un-self-conscious. The women who win these trophies have become successful through grit and determination in the training ground, whether its Rebecca Adlington winning the freestyle swimming or Jessica Ennis-hill winning the 100-meter hurdles, and that’s the message we need to send to children watching at home.

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Too many women nowadays are too concerned with looking like Kim Kardashian and Cardi B, Society is telling young girls that this is how you have to look in order to be sexy and attractive to men. At the moment there is a stigma on what a normal woman’s body should look like, however through the sporting world I believe we would be able to accept the incredible array of curves, lengths and heights that come with being a woman, to celebrate the idea that being happy with your body and who you are doesn’t mean you have to conform to what the media tells you. In fact through the world of sport professional athletes are able to look into the face of society and tell them to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine because look what they have achieved by focusing on bettering themselves and working on their bodies rather than trying to look like someone that has a different physical structure to them.

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Sport and exercise needs to be an important part of the female world, not just a male space were they are allowed to be included. Women’s athletes need to overtake pop celebrities and models in the mainstream media to make the world a more accepting and loving place for young girls all around the world.

Categories: culture, sport

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