Women and men (and gender non-conforming people, for that matter) come in all different shapes and sizes — but that hasn't stopped our ingrained belief that men should be big and bulky, and women should be small, and easy to lift.
Blogger Essie Dennis however, is here to remind you that the idea that a woman should be smaller than a man is ridiculous. In a post to her Instagram account, Dennis shut down the idea that strength is inherently masculine.
"There is nothing inherently 'manly' about being strong," she wrote alongside a photo of herself flexing. "There is also nothing inherently 'unfeminine' about being bigger, taller or musclier than a man."
While she used to feel pressured to be smaller than the people she's dating, she wrote, she's come to recognize that it's an outdated stereotype.
"My whole life I have dated men who are thinner than me and when I was younger that used to get to me," she wrote. "I thought that it made me less of a girl to have bigger thighs than my boyfriend. Honestly, this is a fallacy."
"Men don't need to be bulky/tall and women don't need to be small," she continued. "How we feel about ourselves should also not be based on who we are dating or bullshit ideals about how men and women are supposed to look."
She's right — no person should be able to tell you what you should look like or the amount of space you can take up. Nor should the way you feel about your body be dictated by who you're dating or by heteronormative stereotypes that are drilled into our heads.
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