Imagine standing in front of the mirror, naked. Your eyes take in the curves, bumps, rolls, freckles, splotches and lines of your body and you smile. You smile because for the first time you see your body in a completely new light.
Your body is no longer a source of pain, embarrassment or discomfort. The self-hatred and loathing has given way to a newfound respect and awe. You are grateful because it has become the vehicle in which you experience the world.
Welcome to a bold new way of thinking.
For years women’s bodies have been the targets of emotional marketing campaigns. Companies from all industries have relied on shame and fear based tactics to sell us products. Words such as ‘cellulite’ came about in the early 1920’s, then used in the 1960’s by Vogue magazine. For the first time in history women became aware of a problem they didn’t know they had. Next to arrive on the marketing scene were wrinkles and fat. Unsurprisingly the cosmetic, anti-aging and health industries are worth billions of dollars. It seemed everyone was cashing in on our body insecurities.
The fitness industry has been no exception. Men are often encouraged to join a gym to get results that leave them bigger, faster and leaner. For a long time, the most common option for women has been ‘weight loss’ or ‘toning’.
Why is this? Because marketers know that a women’s body shape and weight is an emotional pain point. As such a primary motivation for a woman to join a gym was to lose weight, shrink and become a smaller version of herself.
But the tides are changing. Women are re-claiming their bodies and the modern gym is making way for this empowered gym woman. This new breed of woman is creating waves in the gym and in life. So what does she look like?
The empowered woman is using fitness as a way of becoming ‘more’…
No longer settling for the same old ‘weight loss’ or ‘tone up’ regime the empowered women wants more. She wants to be more.
Her potential goals are vast and include becoming strong, fit, powerful and healthy. She focuses on personal performance and self-improvement. “Progress, not perfection” is her motto.
She knows her value in the world is not determined by her dress size…
She is confident in her abilities and feels free to fully express herself. The way she looks, whilst important, is not the most important thing in her life. Her exercise regime is a form of self-love and nourishment. It fuels her with the confidence and energy needed to be her best self.
Her self-worth does not hinge off her physical appearance. Even though she takes pride in her appearance, she is not validated by it.
Self love and compassion is her M.O…
Modern women are juggling many different roles. Never ending ‘to-do’ lists, responsibilities and demands occupy her lifestyle. Finding time to fit everything in can be exhausting. The empowered woman tries not to berate herself if expectations are not met. She doses herself in compassion and keeps things in perspective. Self-compassion involves kindness, love, understanding and the belief that she is ‘doing her best’.
A rising tide lifts all ships…
The empowered woman collaborates with and encourages other women to do their best. She is a source of support at the gym and is empathetic to other people’s journeys. She avoids competing against other women and prefers to focus on her own progression.
In a world that favours self-loathing it is a radical notion to be different. So I say to you ladies, be bold, love yourself and become empowered to reach your potential.
Wednesday 8 March, 2017 is International Women’s Day. A day to unite women in helping to forge a better working world that is more inclusive and gender equal. This year’s theme is #BeBoldForChange.