Girl power is at an all-time high and we love it! With a female running for president, Hollywood’s biggest actresses bringing awareness to pay discrepancies and celebrities showing that being skinny isn’t the only way to look and feel great, girls are proving over and over again that we run the world.
The latest workout phrase, “strong is the new skinny,” can actually be problematic. Yes, we love the idea behind becoming a stronger you and not just losing weight to fit into a specific dress, but even with this empowering message there are flaws to this new workout mantra.
Celebrities like Khloe Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss are all using social media to promote a healthier lifestyle for ladies everywhere, but their tactics aren’t fool proof. Although a lot of stars have steered away from crazy crash diets and models aren’t all stick thin, they are usually in the business because they STILL have the right look and the model-like figure, so sadly, their “strong” is not everyone’s “sexy or skinny.”
According to Natalia Petrzela, Well + Good’s fitness historian, “strong is the new skinny,” is inspiring yes, but can quickly backfire.
“It just creates a new physical ideal that still demands so much attention to appearance,” Petrzela explains in Well + Good’s fitness article.
She notes that especially in the case of models, who are traditionally thin by nature, there is now additional heat to not only be skinny like them, but also be toned and have muscle like these ladies. It is a little bit of a double edge sword.
A good example of this is Hadid, who works her butt off to get the body she has, but she didn’t have a bigger body or extra weight to deal with before she began training like an athlete and made a name for herself in the modeling world.
The 21-year-old model even landed a Reebok campaign that promotes her workouts, which is great because of the positive ideas behind working out and being fit, but unrealistic for most women and girls who don’t have the genes she does to begin with.
“‘Perfect’ never exceeds expectation. It doesn’t allow us to reach our full potential. May we be confident and have love for who we are, but, in all that we are passionate about, may we always remember that Good is the enemy of GREAT. Don’t settle,” Hadid captioned a photo of her boxing.
“I’m so honored to join a campaign that’s committed to pushing these boundaries for women. Thank you @reebokwomen for creating such an inspiring message of female empowerment – I’m so excited to be a part of it! #PerfectNever #BeMoreHuman #TeamReebok @reebok #ad.”
While we are all for girl power and being strong instead of shooting for skinny, it’s a very fine line before girls think they have to have six-pack abs, like celebrities, or insane workout regiments that just don’t work for everyone, which is why Well + Good’s Petrzela, revealed the downside to today’s new girl-power fitness motto.
The publication pointed out that a recent and small survey by The Model Alliance revealed that more than 30 percent of models have eating disorders and nearly 50 percent restrict their eating habits in order to lose weight. It also says that 68 percent suffer from anxiety or depression.
These statistics are the problematic side effects of shooting for a “strong is the new skinny” body without knowing how one’s unique body works and understanding that some people will never, and should never, be as thin, toned or “strong” as celebrities.
So while we think you should work out and stay fit, make sure it’s for your body type and not for a tall, naturally thin, model type. Once you do find your own version of strong, remember that, strong is more sexy than skinny, but only if you tweak it to your own body type in order to achieve it!
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