CrossFit and Body Image
WHAT IS BODY IMAGE?
The National Eating Disorders Association defines body image as “how you see yourself when you look in the mirror,” or more broadly your belief about your appearance, how you feel about your body weight, shape or size, and how a person feels inside their own body. By age 6, girls start to express concern about their own weight and 42% of 1st – 3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Society – by and large – tells us that skinny is beautiful. The average Miss America winner is 5’7″ and weighs 121 pounds with a BMI (body mass index) of 16.9, which is “underweight” according to he Worth Health Organization. But the average American woman is 5’4″ and weighs 165 pounds. We haven’t subconsciously, but literally told and taught our young girls to idolize and achieve a body that only 5% of women are naturally capable of – we’ve told them to be something different, that they weren’t good enough. 69% of American elementary school girls who read magazines say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body image.
WHAT’S CROSSFIT’S ROLE IN ALL OF THIS?
USA Olympic weightlifter Morghan King said it best: CrossFit and weightlifting are “changing the face of how we look at women and I think it’s beautiful to see this switch in society.” CrossFit HQ’s early recognition of this shift towards “strong is the new skinny” date back to four years ago this week with the release of “Beauty in Strength,” a video featuring Andrea Ager and Jackie Perez. Athletes’ focus was moving away from numbers on the scale and towards performance.
We asked five CrossFit athletes – Emily Bridgers, Carleen Mathews, Maddy Curley, Melissa Doss and Sarah Loogman – and 48KG Olympic Weightlifter Morghan King how CrossFit and weightlifting have changed their perception of a woman’s body and what would you tell the 16-year-old version of yourself. Here’s what they had to say.
To all you girls out there CrossFitting, weightlifting, playing sports or otherwise, our message to you is very simple – become the best version of who God made you to be. Never settle, never give up on your dreams, never let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough.