Proud2Bme | I Don’t Glisten, I Sweat

  • Body Image
  • Personal Stories

I Don’t Glisten, I Sweat

By Diana Cisneros--Excessive sweat is something that runs in my family. I have a mild case of hyperhidrosis, but no matter the weather or the activity, I am always sweating. My condition became apparent to me when I was in middle school. My classmates were pointing out how much I was sweating, letting me know that it was not normal. I couldn’t wear the same clothes as my friends, because my sweat would seep through the light-colored material or show easily on specific styles of clothing.

I grew up as a multi-sport athlete, and I found a little more comfort when I would sweat during games and practices; the sweat was a demontration of my hard work. But even then, I saw that I perspired so much more than everyone else that once again I would feel self-conscious. The biggest reason I was so uncomfortable with my sweating was because of the stereoype that “girls don’t sweat, they glisten.” I was fooled by this false perception; movies like She’s the Man showed the female main character wouldn’t have a drop of sweat on her, even after playing a soccer game. It wasn’t solely in movies; on every billboard, commercial and TV show I was surrounded by a notion of how I was supposed to be.

I was always embarassed to be seen by boys after playing sports; I felt like I was repulsive. I went to my doctor and got a prescription to help decrease my sweating. It worked to an extent, but it didn’t completely getting rid of my problem. I began to accept that as much as I might try to, I couldn’t stop or hide my excessive sweating—so I embraced what I couldn’t control.

The incessant media pressure telling us how we should act, look and feel is hard to ignore and even harder to escape. It is all around us, feeding our insecurities and making us feel as if there is always a standard set of requirements that we need to meet in order to be considered “normal.” 

I now embrace this unique quality of mine and I feel empowered that yes, I am a woman and I sweat. I’m breaking the mold of how a woman is “supposed” to be, dispelling stereotypes and ignoring media pressure to fit a certain image—and I find comfort in that.

About the blogger: Diana Cisneros is a junior at California State University, Northridge, majoring in exercise science. She aspires to be a physical therapist and help people become fully connected to how their body works.

For more on body image, check out:

My Ongoing Journey to Body Positivity

Learning to Love Myself

Dress Codes Are Body-Shaming and Sexist

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