A Female weightlifter’s opinions on how women’s bodies should look

Weightlifting has been a male dominated industry for decades. Why? Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of muscular women, as being buff has somehow become a muscular trait. This very reason is why many women are hesitant when entering the sport. A female weightlifter, Rene Campbell, looks to change the perception of what women’s bodies should look like.

Rene Campbell is a British weightlifter who has faced many hardships during her career. During her journey to build her dream body (going from a size 8 to 14) she faced many hardships both mentally and physically. 

“I was very insecure about my body image, very insecure about myself as a person.”, said Rene Campbell. 

The portrayal of women’s bodies by the media really put a toll on her. She was going against the said ‘ideal feminime body’ which is quite difficult and pressuring. In a research conducted by Dr. Tanya Bunsell many people’s first reaction to women bodybuilding was “That’s just not attractive.” Society encourages women to have abs and build muscle but a small waist and hourglass shape is ideal. Rene Campbell was struggling with eating disorders trying to confine to this ideal set by beauty until she attended a women’s bodybuilding show. There, she saw strong women confident in their bodies and was intrigued by this, soon after she started bulking up as well.

Even though she gained confidence and was determined to achieve her dreams, society did not help. People would always stop her from using the women’s restrooms. This was disrespectful to her,“I’m stuck in a situation where I have to prove that I’m a woman in order to use these toilets? It’s quite offensive. I do try to explain to them quite nicely. I may look this way but, at the end of the day, I am a woman. I have every right to use these toilets.” 

Rene Campbell sees these situations and it further motivates her to be confident and have a strong mentality.

The media has set a certain ‘standard’ to how women’s bodies should look causing many women to develop body image issues. Rene Campbell looks at this as unfair and unjust and promotes women to look like what they want to, not how others want them to. She is looking to change the perception that women should not be bulky or slim or something that is defined by other by pursuing her dream muscular body.

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