You’re Too (Muscular) (Fat) (Thin) (Tall) (Whatever)

A couple of weeks ago, I was lifting in the gym, headphones on and minding my own business when another gym-goer came over. “You know, if you lift lower weight and higher reps, you’ll be lean without looking so…muscular.” It was not a compliment. For whatever reason, this stranger thought I might need guidance on how to look more appealing to him. I turned bright red and stammered out “thanks?” I tried to pretend it didn’t bother me; I’ve worked insanely hard to have any definition in my arms but in one sentence, he managed to make me feel like some ugly masculine freak. Thanks dude.

Then over the weekend, I came across this story. It breaks my heart that not only did someone make him feel that way and gloat about it, it got spread across the internet. I’m thrilled that some other strangers stepped up to try to mend the situation but also imagine that no matter how many people step up to say “dance on,” he’ll carry that (and whatever other abuse he’s subjected to daily) forever.

As Suzy said upon hearing about my experience at the gym, “What’s with people telling us what they think about our bodies? Did we even ASK THEM?”

Anyone else entirely fed up with the body shaming trend? How do you avoid it? How do you address it when it happens?

7 thoughts on “You’re Too (Muscular) (Fat) (Thin) (Tall) (Whatever)

  1. klregan

    I think that’s totally arrogant of that guy to come up to you like that. Muscular is awesome, and I wish I could tell him to shove it. Haha! I’ve had similar things happen. I am a yoga teacher and one time someone at the studio I am at suggested that I stop running so much because I was looking a little too thin. It doesn’t feel good when people say that stuff.

    Reply
    1. Runner Under Pressure Post author

      To be honest, my second reaction was to snap right back at him about what I didn’t care for about his physical appearance. But then I realized that made me no different from him. Getting over it slowly…

      Reply
  2. foxrunsfast

    You already know how I feel about that guy. 🙂 But I’m bummed that you had to bear the brunt of his stupidity. I personally love the fact that I am more muscular – I’d rather be that way and feel strong and confident. And (as you said) we’ve worked really hard to get that definition in our arms – we should be proud of it!! I think that every one is different and we should all try hard not to criticize appearances. Sometimes all of the social stigmas get me down. Wish we (as a society) focused less on outward appearance and more on the interesting traits and personalities that make us unique.

    Reply
    1. Runner Under Pressure Post author

      Preach! I wish we could all just go through our day without worrying about whether we fit someone else’s definition of attractive/healthy/male/female whatever.

      Reply
  3. Marci

    It is really an interesting situation when this happens. I like to assume the best of people and just like to think that they are sincerely attempting to help. I know you didn’t ask for his opinion, nor do you need to respect his opinion, but they think that they are helping you in some way. Often the problem is that the person thinks they already know something about you, what you are training for, how you are training, how you could benefit from their advice… they really should start by asking a questions, not tell you their opinion I think

    Reply
    1. Runner Under Pressure Post author

      That’s such a good way to think about it! I’m guessing that in my scenario, he really was trying to be helpful. For the dancing man, however, I think those kids were just cruel and it shatters my heart to think about it. Love your perspective though, definitely helps me calm down a bit about this!

      Reply

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