I ‘like’ a number of female athlete fan pages on Facebook, including Erin Stern, Dana Linn Bailey, Nicole Wilkins, Felicia Remero and Larissa Reis. Besides featuring gorgeous, rock-hard bodies, these pages have something else in common – negativity.
Whenever one of these women posts a picture, the trolls come out to play. Commenters are especially harsh on DLB. Sure, her body may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but why would people like her page in the first place if they didn’t admire her physique?! On some of her pictures, around half of the comments are negative – along the lines of “that’s disgusting”, “she looks like a man”, “ewww” etc.
I may not want the same body as DLB, but I sure as hell admire her hard work and dedication. She has spoken out about the negative comments she’s received and just laughs them off, not that I would expect anything less of her. She is a strong woman and she, sadly, must be used to such hurtful comments.
A month or so ago I started following a page called ‘Yeah, She Squats’. The booty is my favourite body part on a woman, so I’d happily admire them all day long! I initially didn’t pay too much attention to the page other than throwing down the occasional like. They even do fan submissions and I thought about sending in my own photo.
However, I recently started reading the comments on the pictures and I was absolutely blown away by the hate-filled comments. The majority of commenters are negative, either saying the woman is too soft and cheesy to squat, or that she is just genetically blessed and probably doesn’t squat. Of those women who obviously squat and have serious muscle mass on their legs and butt, the comments again say she must be a man doing a ‘tuck job’.
The fan-submitted pictures are what break my heart. I know how nerve-wracking it is to post a picture of my body on this very blog, let alone on a Facebook page which reaches thousands of people. I can’t imagine how devastating it must be to log on and read the hurtful comments other people have made about you. Obviously the women squat, or they wouldn’t be submitting their pictures to such a page!
It must be horrible to work your butt off to have your hard work dismissed as mere genetics or, even worse, saying you are too fat to squat. Most women are not as tough as DLB, so I can see an experience like that turning someone off lifting (or at least sharing pictures of their hard work) for life.
Newsflash. Real women have cellulite. Real women do not look like fitness models within three months of beginning a weight lifting regime. Hell, real women do not look like fitness models after any length of time unless they put themselves through a gruelling competition-style diet. Not everyone is going to look perfectly sculpted all the time, and you will never please everyone.
If I don’t like the look of someone, guess what – I just don’t comment! The whole world doesn’t need to know why someone’s body doesn’t meet my ideals.
Women seem to be the most critical. I was recently reading an article about women feeling intimidated to use the gym – not because of men, but because of catty women. I can think of one particularly nasty woman who used to work out at my gym. She made it her mission to put down other women and purposely give them the wrong advice so they would not progress. Although she was the worst case I’ve seen (and I told her where to stick it!), women staring and making snide remarks is all too common in most gyms.
Encouraging women to lift weights is hard enough without these trolls criticising their every move. I hope that any woman who encounters negativity, especially from men, can rise above it. Most men who criticise women do so because they feel threatened and like they won’t be needed anymore. Personally, I believe there is nothing better than having better muscle definition than a man or knowing you can out-lift a man!
I know that when you plaster yourself and your body on the internet you are opening yourself up to criticism, however, there is a difference between making constructive comments and being unnecessarily hateful. You never know what adversity someone has had to overcome already, so there is no need to tear them down for no reason.
Have you ever had to deal with negativity? What do you think about people who leave negative comments?