#ChooseToChallenge This International Women’s Day
March 8th marks International Women’s Day 2021, an event aimed at celebrating the many achievements of women across the globe and raising awareness around gender equality.
Here at SoBody, we stand firmly behind the mission of empowering women and honouring their accomplishments.
In this article, we wanted to take the opportunity to embrace the #ChooseToChallenge message by highlighting challenges and limitations that are often imposed on women in the world of health & fitness, and to shine a light on strong women paving the way for change.
Choose to Challenge 1: Body Image “Ideals”
Although some progress has been made, women continue to face criticism and scrutiny about their bodies on a daily basis in magazines, across social media, and beyond.
Many women feel the widespread pressure to mimic the appearance of celebrities or influencers who fit a certain aesthetic. This is often coupled with the narrative that as a woman, you should look a certain way to be healthy or attractive.
Underrepresentation is still a huge issue across the media today. A scroll through a fashion magazine or Instagram feed will no doubt reveal countless images of female ‘body ideals’, but this is not reflective of the vast array of shapes and sizes that are healthy and beautiful.
The reality is, there are many reasons women may not fit this construct - genetics, environment, resources and even access to photoshop...
Remember that every-body is unique and while it's perfectly fine for you to want to make changes to your body or your health, know that you don't have to reach toward a stereotype that’s largely made up.
Choose to Challenge 2: Diet Culture
Body image ideals often go hand in hand with diet culture.
Women are often made to believe that they need to eat a certain way to look a certain way. That they should follow a specific diet in order to lose weight or be healthy.
It’s perhaps important to remind ourselves that nutrition is a form of self-care. It’s about fuelling our bodies to help us be the best versions of ourselves - not trying to be a version of someone else.
Women across the world have different metabolisms, goals, food sensitivities and routines. These factors usually aren’t reflected by the media when they share blanket statements that you should “eat this to look like that”.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition. While there may be some basic principles that we can mostly agree on, the best diet for you may be the one that you can stick to long-term.
👉 Check out our Gorgeous Greens Powder, packed with superfoods, vitamins and minerals to help you look and feel your best, whatever your goal: Find out more.
Choose to Challenge 3: Exercise Modalities
There’s the age-old belief that women shouldn’t perform certain exercise modalities (such as lifting weights) for the fear of gaining too much muscle mass and appearing ‘bulky’.
Thankfully we’ve started to see a shift away from that idea, with more and more women adopting strength training and becoming empowered through movement. That being said, there’s still work to do and stereotypes to overcome.
Whilst there’s no shame in exercising for aesthetics, when we exercise in a way that makes us feel good, training often becomes about much more than this.
It’s positive that we’ve seen a steady increase in women’s participation in various sports over the last 50 years, empowering the next generation. Likewise, social media has enabled more women to share their fitness journey, uplifting people across the world.
There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from influencers and trainers online, however, it's important to remember that exercise, like diet, is individual. Find what you love and make it work for you.