Whenever a picture like these pops up on CrossFit.com, inevitably there is a flurry of comments either criticizing or defending the athlete(s). “Is this really necessary, I don’t want my kids to see this stuff” to “If you got it, flaunt it!” are generally the two ends of same stick of comments. During the 2012 CrossFit Games, one of the most controversial commercials was Reebok CrossFit’s “Turning 7’s into 10’s” which is embedded below. (interestingly, it is not on their Youtube channel)
And on 8/3/12, this was the mainsite WOD demo video featuring Andrea Ager, Jackie Perez, Rita Benavidez, and Erin Cianciolo.
While I’m not here to make judgement either way, I do think it’s changing people’s definition of beauty/sexy/desireable/insertadjective.
“Strong is the New Skinny”? Ok. Defined legs and sinewy arms over skinny-fat? Definitely. It’s no longer about being skinny. It’s no longer about low bodyweight (which never made sense to me), but now it’s about being strong. Now it’s become socially acceptable, and dare I say attractive, for girls to have muscle and more importantly, DO STUFF like lifting weights over 5lbs. For many of the girls pictured, they can back their looks up with performance. On this blog, I consistently get people searching for “Camille Leblanc-Bazinet pictures” but she also came in 6th at the 2012 CrossFit Games, 8th in 2011, and 9th in 2010. CrossFit has received both praise and criticism for showing her more than 2010 CrossFit Games winner Kristan Clever.
While perhaps controversial, these images, and videos won’t stop. In fact, I fully expect them to increase in frequency as CrossFit continues to grow and Reebok is more and more involved. But I think there is an important distinction between how someone looks and how they perform. Yes, in general form follows function, but there are also going to be girls (and men) who simply LOOK more attractive than others, usually with a pretty face. Us regular folk need to focus more on what we can DO, rather than what genetics may have handed us. No matter how hard I try, I am not going to look like Channing Tatum (and certainly not dance like him), but I CAN keep getting stronger/faster, etc compared to MYSELF. In other words, I am going to take whatever genetics gave me, and make the best of that situation. Essentially, I want you to be your best self.