Being healthy and fit is one of the latest trends. The reason I call it a trend is because the current type of fitness is very limited and specific and I don’t know how long something like that can last. People are juicing, doing keto diets and aiming for a very specific body type.
As usual however, women are often hit with the bulk of any trend and have to adhere to very specific requirements, especially when it comes to how we look. In the latest trend of fitness, women are aiming to have slim-thick bodies, think Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Nicki Minaj.
I know people have been excited about this new body ideal, saying it encourages women to be healthier, to eat more protein and exercise. But I don’t think the slim-think body is as freeing as some people think.
It still promotes women as sexual objects and puts more pressure on women to attain a body type that is even harder to achieve and maintain. It’s not enough to be skinny or fat or in the middle anymore. Now, every body part now has its own individual standard, a standard that is based on women who often use surgery or injections to achieve their looks.
You need a small waist, but a big ass. You need a thigh gap, but muscular legs. You need big breasts, but chiseled arms. You need sucked in cheeks, but big juicy lips. And you need to achieve all this without a single stretch mark on your entire body!
This body image isn’t freeing at all. It is extremely restrictive and limiting, not to mention the fact that now everyone’s standard of beauty is only one type of look. If you’re skinny, you need to gain weight, but only in the right places. If you’re fat, you need to lose weight, but don’t lose your curves. If you’re in the middle, you need to tone up and maybe add squats to your workout routine.
This doesn’t promote confidence or self-love in women. Not only are girls trying to achieve it, they have been sucked into the new trend of sexualized fitness as well, where even during a workout there is a certain look that has to be maintained.
You can’t go to the gym in casual sweats and a T-shirt either. You have to look amazing at the gym too. I’ve seen girls wearing makeup and false lashes. You have to wear super tight, high-waisted yoga pants with a crop top and God forbid you have any panty lines, which brings about the ridiculous trend of either going commando or wearing
a thong for your workouts.
Not only is wearing a thong uncomfortable during a workout, it can be very unhealthy. Wearing a thong during your workouts, especially lower body workouts, can bring E.coli from the back toward the front as you move. This increases your risk for urinary tract infections, according to Dr. Nicole E. Williams. We’re better off wearing briefs or other underwear with more fabric to avoid a very uncomfortable situation.
All over my Instagram feed, I see girls working out and teaching other’s how to have the perfect body type. Don’t get me wrong, these girls are strong, athletic and amazing women. But that’s not enough because many of them are practically naked when working out. They’re wearing string bikinis, thongs and cheeky underwear that shows it all.
I just don’t understand how someone can do squats and lunges with a string between their butt cheeks. It’s not enough that women are strong and capable, we are still pressured to sexualize everything we do. The new trend of sexualized fitness goes hand in hand with the sexualized voluptuous bodies that have now become the standard.
Now, if that’s what someone prefers to wear when working out, then that’s fine. We should all be allowed to dress and workout as we please. And I love working out myself. I go to the gym and work on making my body tone and healthy. But if it’s because of unattainable beauty standards and the fact that women are still only judged on looks, then that’s infuriating. If what is supposed to bring you joy and health and release endorphins is only making your more conscious of your body, then we need to rethink how society puts these pressures on women.
What’s more frustrating is that the slim-thick body was demonized when black women had their natural bodies. But now that this look has been deemed sexy by white women or racially ambiguous women such as Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, then it has become the standard of beauty.
Yes, it is wonderful to be fit, workout and stay healthy, But next time you think that we are moving forward and promoting healthier body images, I think we should realize that putting more restrictions and standards on women’s body is never healthy.
So girls, you can go work out today in your baggy sweat pants and oversized hoodie or your yoga pants and crop top, but make that choice according to your own comfort level, not because you’re worried about how people will look at you.