Not everyone exercises to lose weight, y’all
Ashley Graham is one of the most recognizable models in the business. This gorgeous gal has been everywhere from the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue to the stage of her own TED Talk, where she spoke about loving your body no matter the size. This week she has had to repeat her body-positive message after commenters criticized a video she posted on Instagram of her working out.
Yesterday, Graham posted a video of herself at the gym doing what looks to us to be some extremely painful kind of hip thrust. Next to the video, Graham wrote: “Gettin’ that 🍑 right with @christine_grubbs💪🏽 #sundaymorning#curvyfit.” We’re assuming that means “da butt.” Also, ouchie.
Of course, people always feel that they have a right to offer their opinions on women’s bodies because women’s bodies determine their value as human beings and are therefore open to public scrutiny. Right? Right. So thank goodness there were some heroes out there who came over to Graham’s page to tell her why it’s wrong for someone over a size 12 to exercise. Here’s a sample:
- “…As the current token ‘curvy’ model, she has an opportunity to educate young girls and others as to the importance of healthy eating… not just indulge in carbs bc you don’t have to fit into the sample sizes.”
- “Nice …but I thought she was happy with her body… I’m glad she’s working out.”
- “Working out like she does, she won’t be plus size for long. She works hard.”
- “It takes quite a few reps to work off that pasta and pizza you shared on Instagram.”
- “You’ll never be skinny, so stop trying.”
Thanks, guys! As always, your opinions are unhelpful and misinformed. Keep up the miserable work.
Aside from the just plain mean (“work off that pasta”) and ignorant (don’t even get me started on the word “token”), there’s a really interesting issue at play here: whether they want her to lose weight or not, the underlying assumption is that Graham is exercising because she’s unhappy with her body. And that’s just ludicrous.
Graham responded to these comments hours later with another post:
Larger women don’t necessarily work out because they hate themselves, folks. The person making that assumption might hate themselves and use their workouts as punishments, but not everyone else does. Some women exercise because it makes them feel good. Or because they like feeling strong. Or because it’s good for them. And we don’t mean “good for them” as in “make them skinny” we mean it in the sense that exercise is good for everyone. After all, there are a lot of size 16s (like Graham) out there who are a heck of a lot healthier than some size 4s. Whether you want Graham to lose weight or not (which is, of course, none of your business to begin with), her exercising has nothing to do with it. Zero. Zip. Nada.
Working out can be a sign of self-love just as much as it can be an act of self-hate. So use Graham’s videos as inspiration, but don’t use them to promote self-hatred among women. Because that’s what a jackass would do, and you’re not a jackass, right? Right.