On Warped Beauty Standards, and Embracing the Buff

Own Your Beauty is a groundbreaking, year-long movement bringing women together to change the conversation about what beauty means. Our mission: to encourage and remind grown women that it is never too late to learn to love one's self and influence the lives of those around us - our mothers, friends, children, neighbors. We can shift our minds and hearts and change the path we follow in the pursuit of authentic beauty.

I resisted the larger weights. I didn't mind sweating, but I'd read in Self and Fitness and all of the other magazines with the cayenne pepper maple syrup diets and concave-bellied glamazons that in order to tone, you must do high repetitions of light weights. Sure, it was obscenely boring to lift 10-pound dumb bells over my head six hundred and twenty times, but that's why my iPod existed, to relieve the mind numbing boredom.

I wanted my belly to look like this.

(Mothereffing BULKY.  And also: completely hot, elite Crossfit Athlete and Competitor Crystal McReynolds, photo from Facebook group.)

Maybe if strong women started gracing magazine covers and helping to define feminine, we'd stop making excuses to take it to the next level. We'd maybe understand what really fit and healthy really looks like, and aspire to the beautifully possible rather than the absurdly unattainable.

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