This is an article by Erin Gloria Ryan who disagrees with the fitness zeitgeist idea of “strong is the new skinny.” While it is true the thin body type ideal is damaging, it does not need to be replaced with another unrealistic standard. The problem with this article is that it disparages women who want to change themselves for personal reasons. Women who desire strength may be trying to improve their health or advance in a particular sport. Their actions are for themselves and their goals. Some may engage in weightlifting for aesthetic purposes, but certainly not all. Ryan’s statements are at times just ludicrous. She claims in one paragraph ” strong is the new skinny means now you have to lift weights to be f*****.” This crude and incorrect statement demonstrates her limited understanding. A majority of men hate women who look physically stronger than themselves. Briefly, she displays some rationality when she states that the muscular body type is less awful than one that projects weakness. True, being strong should not be as a goal to please others as Erin Gloria Ryan points out. However, she contradicts herself. She says women must exist for themselves and be left to their own choices. Yet, if you reach this article closely she clearly wants women to conform to a third wave feminist perspective. Erin Gloria Ryan and third wave feminists believe themselves to be the voice of all women. They have the notion they know what is best for all women. What this written piece represents is the issues of third wave feminism. When a woman makes a genuine choice for herself that deviates from their views, they are repudiated. The level of contradiction is astounding. Here there are women who challenge sexist stereotypes. Some men still use the ludicrous claim they men are superior, because of their greater strength. The strong woman crushes this false idea. One would think that the third wave feminist would embrace this, because it is women gaining power. Women should be able to look like whatever they choose. Women who have a powerful body type should not be ostracized or repudiated. They represent a new form of empowerment that can be both strong and beautiful.
This woman did not get this way to please others; it was for herself.