Fit Is The New Thin.
Strong Is The New Skinny
Strong is the new skinny and fit is the new thin for women, according to a growing trend on social media.
Head to Twitter Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and you’re guaranteed to see a plethora of women showing off their muscles, curvy figures and dare I say it, large butts with pride.
Society's Idea of Beauty
When it comes to women, society's idea of beauty and health is constantly changing. For a long time women have spent many hours pounding on treadmills at the gym in an effort to achieve a skinny body. Never would they have thought of picking up a dumbbell as they passed the weights racks on their way to the mindless grind of running on the spot in an effort to look like Victoria Beckham.
Models, especially fashion models have always been slender, to the point of being underweight. Women with high cut cheek bones who looked down their nose as they strutted the catwalk. They gave the image of being able to live on a breakfast of coffee and cigarettes, and a dinner of cabbage soup and thin air.
Men have been hitting the weights for decades and now it seems more and more women also want more muscular or shapely physiques. Many are incorporating weight training into their workout routines and focusing on toning and embracing what they have physically rather than trying to get skinny and making themselves unhealthy.
Many gyms are jumping on this new trend and offering classes that emphasize building muscle over burning off weight. Aerobics classes have given way to Crossfit, battle ropes and kettlebells. There are even classes solely devoted to the pursuit of a larger bottom half, big butts and thick thighs are now seen as goals rather than something to be hidden under baggy track pants. Tight fitting yoga pants over strong thighs are the new fashion.
Shape Alongside Strength
The new goal for many women has changed from being stick thin to having shape alongside strength. They are embracing large hips and butts and working hard to emphasize them.
“Thick and Fit” has become a popular tag on social media. Led by women like Nicole Mejia and Michelle Lewin, Instagram is filled with women who hit the gym but still have the curvy figure of Marilyn Monroe or more recently Kim Kardashian.
Positive Source Of Inspiration
The rise of fitness models is a far more positive source of inspiration. They are fit, strong, healthy women, who eat (a lot) and have a streak of independence and confidence that has been missing for some for some time.
You could argue it is just yet another media trend led by narcicisstics and attention seekers making the average girl feel bad about themselves, and to a degree this could be right. However this article is looking at it from a more positive perspective. There are huge positives around these women showing off a lifestyle that certainly beats starvation, fruitless goals and poor body image. These benefits can be seen below.
In order to have a healthy life you need to incorporate some exercise into your day. The reality of this has been realized by these women. They don't just exercise for one goal (weight loss) but have developed a multi level enjoyment for it so it has become a fundamental part of their everyday lives. These women display the many ways in which to exercise. Breaking down misconceptions of what women can and can't do, and also providing motivation to do exciting things along the way. If you don’t like weights, no problem pick up a kettlebell, don’t like running, no problem do a hundred squats a day instead. It's no longer seen as being less feminine to don a pair of boxing gloves and hit the pads or heavy bag. Being told they “hit like a girl” is no longer an insult, not when they can watch the likes of Rhonda Rousey in the UFC.
The list goes on, pick what suits you, you are no longer confined to run on a treadmill like a hamster in a wheel.
Starving yourself is out, these women all eat, they have to. You can’t grow muscle without a surplus in calories. Burn the calories, consume the calories, this is a whole lot more healthy and sensible. These women are eating real food and plenty of it. Gone are the days of cabbage soup, celery and weight loss shakes that replace meals. They have been replaced with good sources of protein, plenty of vegetables and yes, carbs! That not to say they are not showing discipline and are enjoying pizza every night but they are certainly eating a variety of good healthy foods with a balance of delicious treats built in.
Starving yourself thin is a downward cycle, all that happens is your metabolism continues to slow down with the decreased muscle mass, and you have to eat less and less with each passing year just to maintain your weight.
Positive Body Image
There is no single body type, we are all built different. The best thing about sport and exercise is that there is something out there for absolutely everyone regardless of body type. Rather than getting frustrated that they aren't a size zero, a lot of these fitness models have discovered their best selves through this healthy lifestyle without becoming preachy or judgemental. They emphasize their best assets, assets that were once (not that long ago) considered undesirable. You will never hear one of them complain that their butt is too big. Strong is the new skinny for many women, and this creates a lot of positivity which is shared and filters out to everyone. Hopefully this positivity is passed on to future generations of young women.
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Thick And Fit
Nicole Mejia a model from Miami, U.S.A whose wide hips and slim waist didn’t fit in with any of the restrictions of the modelling worlds of fashion or fitness. Not willing to try to starve herself to lose weight to meet those restrictions she took to Instagram and wrote that she was fit and thick and proud of it.
She was quoted as saying “It was just me saying, ‘I don’t give a crap about what you think of what I’m doing or my body type,’” she says. “For a Latin woman or a curvy woman my shape was definitely more of a realistic fitness goal.”
Following that social media post her followers count escalated dramatically, to the point where she currently has 1.3 million followers. She has since gone on to found the brand Fit and Thick in 2013.
Meija says “It’s really become an outlet for women to accept themselves,” she says. “They’ll say, ‘Now that I see you rocking it, I can do this, too. I feel confident to go in the gym and work out.’”
All Shapes And Sizes
It’s this philosophy that these women stress is more important than outward appearance. To them the thinking isn’t just linked to what the physical body is, being “thick” is more than that. It’s about taking full ownership of the skin they are in and the bodies that were born with.
However we do need to be aware that we are not with replacing one unattainable ideal with another. It takes a lot of work to look some of these women and not everyone’s body works or develops the same way.
Each person is responsible for their own health and they should not just listen to the information and images seen on social media. Sharing of information and advice is great as long as it remains inspirational and not idealistic.
These women are showing all of us that healthy bodies come in all sizes and shapes and we can all make the most of ours by paying more attention to what we’re eating and how much we’re moving and not what the scales say.