FEMINIST FITNESS

person in white crew neck shirt

I am a feminist fitness professional and

I am angry, I am the kind of burn your bra, kick the Patriarchy in the balls kinda angry.

Yes, how cliche for a feminist to be angry *eye roll*

But, yes, I am a PROUD feminist, I have always defined myself as one.

Yet until fairly recently I have also always dieted.

And, much like the vast majority of people, I have tried every diet and failed.

So many of us have wasted so much time, energy and money to try and meet the thin ideal, and for what?

Only to end up with a f*cked up metabolism and a worse body image than when we started. That is why I am angry, because we have grown up being told a lie. And we are STILL being lied to.

EVERY FRICKIN DAY

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Being told that the next diet will work, just keep trying.

Then you will be thin, then you will be happy.

And being told to exercise only to ‘burn off the calories’

Like calories are the worst thing in the world, like calories are not literally the things that give us brain power and energy.

I am angry because 85% of women are unhappy with their body size, let’s put the feminist back into fitness.

This pre-occupation with thin ideal just leaves us feeling anxious, and this is an integral part of being a woman in the western culture;

It is abnormal to be happy with your body, this is called normative discontent. How is this right? How is that healthy? Because, of course, the thin ideal is all about health…

Side note, the thin ideal is a socially de- fined ideal of attractiveness which happens to be thin, which also happens to be completely out of reach for the vast amount of the population. And also keeps control over a huge amount of people while making vast amounts of money.

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The thin ideal only serves the Patriarchy. It is not serving folks on an individual basis. It is just creating shame while deepening the patriarchy’s pockets and keeping control.

Lets put the feminist back into fitness, yes it is worth repeating.

And when it comes to fitness – this is where I get really mad, watch out PT Dick.

The whole exercise to ‘look better’ is BS – we are not here solely to please the male gaze, we are here to exist. Our bodies are more, we are worth more, yet the messages around us just constantly tell us otherwise. Which explains our normative discontent!

During the mid- to late-1800s men were concerned about women exercising in case their uterus would fall out, then they were concerned about the impact on a woman’s period. But was this real concern or was it a way to control what women could do?

Women weren’t allowed to run in marathons;

they had to prove to men that there were no health risks in running.

But the thing is, it was about control then, just like it is now. This time it is different though.

Fitness is a way for folks to be allowed to show up in sport and prove themselves, as they are.

But diet culture has got a hold of it. Diet culture has got a hold of something that is supposed to be about body celebration, power, freedom and turned it into a way of controlling our bodies.

It focuses on outward appearances rather than the pure pleasure you can get from moving your body. And as a result it has ruined it for too many for too long.

Media shows us images of fitness as its most superficial – it shows us fitness has a look, it alienates anyone that does not meet up to its ridiculous ‘body goals’ and turns movement into punishment

You have the ‘You pay for me to hurt you’ rhetoric from PT Dicks, which then just adds to that;

You need to be punished for the most basic human need of eating.

Who said exercise is a beauty tool? Well, I think we know the answer to that, don’t we?

I say let’s reject the perceived perfection created by profit driven industries, and just allow ourselves to appreciate our here and now bodies.

cheerful overweight black woman smiling and training in gym

Right now, the mass marketing for fitness is for the already privileged thin and ‘beautiful’

(beauty is subjective and is not something that any patriarchal society is going to dictate to me, i tell you that for free)

And anytime you try to step outside of that box, then you get accused of promoting ridiculous things – the absolute audacity of enjoying life in a larger body.

The fact of the matter is, the fitness industry is crafting a space that is creating a worse body image for too many of us. So much so that I would argue, can it even be put in the same sentence as health?

I tell you something else

The fitness industry doesn’t get to police where you can show up. Diet culture does not get to police fitness. We need to stop existing for other people, for other peoples ideals.

We can’t override our genes and turn our bodies into a size, shape or weight that the fitness industry deems acceptable.

Those that are not aware of diet culture or even of the patriarchy may read this as conspiracy theory – Kim’s gone mad, Kim has become hysterical, Kim is SUCH A FEMINIST.

When I talk about these things in spaces that are very much intertwined in diet culture I get judged, harshly. But that is ok – I am not here for the diet culture spaces. I am literally here to tear them down.

And I will not keep quiet about this. We deserve to take up space. We deserve to spend our time and energy changing the world, or literally doing anything other than trying to fit into the unrealistic body and beauty expectations set by diet culture patriarchy.

Wait – is diet culture just another word for patriarchy? Hmmm….

woman in white spaghetti strap top dress sitting near the window

Feminist Fitness is about strength and independence, regular exercise can change how we feel about ourselves. It can change our lives REGARDLESS OF OUR SIZE.

And especially when we regret the pressures put on us.

Our bodies are not projects to be moulded, improved, and reduced for a lifetime

It is time for us to consider your physical potential regardless of your size or weight.

So how can we love or at least accept our body in a society that is constantly telling us we are not good enough?

You rebel against it.

You learn that things are not quite as they seem. Surround yourself with folks that are doing the exactly the same, and become stronger at a result. And you become a part of an army that is going to disrupt the industries that made us feel less than.

Can we make fitness feminist again? Yes we blimmin well can!

Lets put the feminist back into fitness

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