They say a picture is worth a thousand words. As cliché as that sounds, this picture says way more than a thousand. To me this picture is the epitome of a female athlete. Her hair is curled but pulled back into a tight pony tail, with subtle jewelry still on from her previous engagement but has the face of determination, and a shirt that screams, “Don’t mess with me.” As a female athlete, sometimes you feel as though you have to maintain certain standards or look a certain way. To be strong as hell yet look cute and girly in a dress.
Tonight, I had a little girl show up to practice in a dress, small heels, and very subtle make up on, and I could barely recognize her. She looked so beautiful but as she sprinted up yelling “I wanted to show you my dress before I changed!” you can still see the athlete in her as her dress was waving all over the place not having a care in the world. I couldn’t help but laugh because I remember being that girl changing in the car going from practice to practice or practice to cotillion. She sprints back to the car to change and comes back out to the girl I am use to. Hair pulled back, ready to work. I was able to snap this picture as she was warming up thinking to myself, this is what being a female athlete is all about.
Females get criticized way too much. Whether its not looking a certain way, wearing too much make up, too little makeup, too muscular, not muscular enough, there always seems to be an issue. And when you add being an athlete to that mix, you always have people watching you and judging. But to me, being a female athlete means so much more than looks.
Being a female athlete means you are strong, powerful, doesn’t mind getting down and dirty yet can still be a beautiful woman and rock a dress and heels. Being a female athlete means that you can handle tough situations, knows what hard work is yet can still wear a smile and turn heads in a room. Being a female athlete means you can kick some ass but still be sweet as can be.
There is no standard when being a female athlete. Every body type is different and every sport requires different muscle groups or different energy systems. Which means not everyone is going to look the same.
I will never forget a reporter body shaming Serena Williams after she had just won ANOTHER Wimbledon tournament and thinking to myself, there is no way in hell that reporter can do half the things that Serena does. That girl might as well be super woman because she is strong as hell and absolutely beautiful at the same time.
To all my female athletes out there, please do not look at yourself in the mirror and wish for something different because you were made to kick ass. The female body is made to withstand a hell of a lot more than we think you just have to put your mind to it.