I often joke that I’ve turned my 8yo daughter into a “crossfit douchebag” & it’s my proudest achievement as a parent.
Maybe it’s not the GREATEST, but I like it.
To balance parenting & fitness, I often bring my kids to the gym with me. My teen daughter is preparing to start crossfit soon, as she is getting ready to start her quest to become the youngest WWE Divas Champion in history. And my youngest builds forts out of foam rollers. But my middle child, whom we call the Overlord LOVES crossfit.
When her dad told her that girls with big muscles weren’t pretty, she cited the “prettiest girl ever” was our West London Crossfit coach Lacey, who was “pretty like a princess & stronger than boys!” She’s already told me a Lacey-free gym won’t be as fun, despite my telling her that the new gym has girl coaches. She says when she grows up, she wants to be pretty & stronger than boys (& will tell you why kale is amazing).
This brings me to a hilarious story.
When our cable provider messed up connecting our internet & TV, they gave us a PPV credit, & I asked them what to do with it. The Overlord shouted “I WANT TO WATCH BLONDE LADY FIGHT!” If you’re wondering who “blonde lady” is, allow me to show you!
That’s right; my 8yo idolizes Ronda Rousey.
As a big WWE fan, she absolutely LOATHES the character of Stephanie McMahon. In fact, her Stephanie action figure only exists for her Brie Bella action figure to put in the Yes! Lock. When Ronda appeared at Wrestlemania 31 & tossed Triple H & put the hated Stephanie in the armbar, a girl crush was born. Ronda is strong. Ronda is tougher than boys. Ronda could probably whoop a boy. Ronda won an ESPY & BEAT OUT BOYS. Ronda is pretty much the coolest person on Earth to her. Ronda is sooooooo pretty. And after explaining that unlike WWE, Ronda fights for real & the fight might not be long (“because the other girl isn’t Ronda Mommy,”) & we NEVER imitate WWE or Ronda, we are going to watch “Blonde Lady” fight tomorrow (cue all the sanctimommies questioning my parenting!).
I also love Ronda; she takes no crap. She showcases an image that women have been told wasn’t a real thing; that strong women aren’t sexy. They are masculine & ugly. The thing the dad told my daughter. I stopped trying to be thin long ago; I started losing weight to be healthier for my girls, but now the goal is strong. Maybe I’ll always wear a size 10-12, but my thick thighs don’t bother me anymore. They are the product of hard ass work & strength. Those thighs can deadlift my body weight & squat in triple digits. And they’re only going to get stronger, as my goal is a 200lbs back squat by year’s end. A few years ago, a woman like Ronda Rousey would have been mocked relentlessly for her physique, called a dude, & yes, it still happens, but when she shuts the body shamers down, we cheer with her. When similar comments were made about Serena Williams, JK Rowling shut them down like a boss. It’s cool to be athletic, strong, & strong women can be beautiful!
It’s pretty much an awesome time to be woman, as we can now be proud of our bodies regardless of size, whether the media agrees or not. Tess Holliday made “plus size” women stand up and say “we are beautiful too, not a fetish or a niche!” (While I think sexiness comes from self love, I’ll give Tess credit) Women of colour are celebrated for beauty, not “exotic looks,” thanks in part to Lupita Nyong’o. And Ronda Rousey made the world see that it’s cool to be strong.
I’ll get “uh, MHC, body shaming still happens, it’s REAL. Just because it doesn’t bother you doesn’t mean it isn’t a thing.” Yup, still is a thing. I get accused of it all of the time because of my fitness posts on social media, but here’s the thing; you are in control of your body. If you love yourself, no one can shame you. My belly isn’t taut & my thighs have cellulite, but I am strong. And I’m proud of my strength. The definition will come if I work hard. I’ll always have double D’s & big hips. But I also have daughters & it’s more important that I embrace those double D’s & deadlift thighs than I fit in a size three. And no amount of body shaming will make me stop loving my body so my daughters emulate self love. Tess Holliday is successful because when she looks in the mirror, she sees beauty. When Ronda Rousey looks in the mirror, she sees beauty (& the knowledge that she can kick the crap out of anyone who thinks otherwise). You need to see beauty when you look in the mirror (as I’ve said before) & then no one can hurt you.
There’s something awesome about women being able to look at any body type & see beauty. My teen daughter is a 00. She will always be thin. She’s often mocked for her thin frame, but I remind her that her body is perfect, as she’s an athlete, a track star. She’s proud of her fast, long legs & doesn’t need to stress about her chest or booty because she’s built to be an athlete, the thing she wants to be. And if her idol, AJ Lee, can buck beauty standards & be a champion, so can she.
You can listen to body shamers who tell women they’re too thin, too buxom, too fat, too strong, or you can embrace your body, like women like Ronda Rousey. I love that my 8yo thinks she’s cool, mostly because she is cool. She’s confident & proud, and that matters more than how she looks on the outside.