Proud2Bme | Ronda Rousey: Femininity in the form of muscles

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Ronda Rousey: Femininity in the form of muscles

By Kaitlyn Oberg--This past week, mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey has flooded the headlines for not only winning multiple entities, but for her body positive remarks. Unfortunately, like many other female celebrities, Rousey's rise to popularity in the media has been accompanied by critiques and criticism of her body. However, Rousey is standing up to the body shamers and letting them know who's boss! 

Over the past few years, there has been an uptick in women using heavy strength training as a form of recreational exercise, especially with the popularity of the workout program Crossfit. We are now starting to see women venture into the heavy-weight rooms in the gym to go toe-to-toe with the men. But for the most part, women are still afraid to lift “too” heavy, lest they go to bed one night and wake up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Aside from it being impossible to “accidentally Arnold” without being on performance drugs, many women never even entertain the thought of lifting heavy weights, fearing the societal backlash that comes with being a more muscular woman. This fear is ingrained in us; We see our friends, our sisters, our mothers lifting weights and we caution them, “Don’t lift too heavy! You don’t want to look like a man!” It creates this terrible dissonance in which one wants to be healthy, strong, and feel good about themselves, but stops before they are personally satisfied with their fitness and aesthetic positions due to the small voice in the back of their head saying, “but what if someone makes fun of me?”

We need to remind ourselves that looks or exercise have absolutely nothing to do with femininity. Muscles have no gender! Rousey makes an excellent point: “There’s not a single muscle on my body that isn’t for a purpose.” Strong biceps, triceps, quads, and calves are not only to make the body look “ripped,” they allow one to live life to the best quality. Conforming to the preferences of some anonymous governing group of body-looks pales in comparison to being able to hug someone you love, to be self-sufficient in performing physical tasks, and to do the things that make you feel confident and proud of yourself. 

Rousey’s body doesn’t determine her masculinity or femininity because those are traits that are independent of how big her bundles of muscle fibers are. Like everything else, being strong is an independent choice that is Rousey’s alone to make. Her body is beautiful and feminine because she is strong, she is independent, and most importantly, she is proud of who she is and what she does. 

About the author: Kaitlyn is a rising sophomore nursing major at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, with hopes to one day be a Public Health or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In her free time, you can find her wandering through Center City, watching Bob's Burgers, or with her nose in a John Green novel. 

Also by Kaitlyn:

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Kelly Clarkson Brushes Off Fat-Shamers

What Not to Say: Your Child in Recovery

Starting from Scratch: Temple University Activism


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