It seems like the idea of women lifting weights at the gym has gotten a bad rap for ages. Being shamed through phrases like you'll "get too bulky" or "look too manly" has caused some ladies to shy away from the barbells, or get hate for lifting when they do try it out. However, fitness blogger Kelsey Wells talked about weightlifting on Instagram in an entirely new light after deciding she was sick of all the unsolicited BS concerning women's workout routines.
Wells is a wife, mother, personal trainer, and full-time badass who created a workout plan for other moms after her own post-pregnancy fitness journey. The fitness guru has described her style of strength training on social media as "hypertrophy," which means she blends different weight-training methods together to keep an exercise routine interesting.
TBH, this mama has got it going on, and her genuine passion shines through her motivating Instagram page, which has amassed more than 800,000 followers. Unfortunately, as most people on the internet know, when you have that many followers, you're bound to endure a few sketchy, weird, or just downright rude comments on the reg.
But after being on the receiving end of rude, sexist remarks for too long, Wells decided it was time to call out body-shamers once and for all.
In a recent Instagram post, Wells wrote,
Comments along the lines of 'you're looking manly' or 'careful you don't want to be bulky' or 'weightlifting isn't feminine' never cease to amaze me. I choose not to respond to negativity, but I do have something to say about this and I want to say it loud and clear.
Before she continued, Wells made it clear that her words weren't directed at those who left negative comments on her account, but instead to all women everywhere:
...to ALL MY FELLOW WOMEN who have ever received a similar comment or been told they need to do/be something different to be beautiful or feminine. THE ONLY THING A WOMAN NEEDS TO DO TO BE BEAUTIFUL AND FEMININE IS TO BE HERSELF.
Say it louder for the *ssholes in the back, please!
Seriously, even though it's 2017, women somehow still get body-shamed for "being too bulky." And Insta-famous personal trainers like Wells get hit with the BS particularly hard because of their huge following and platform.
But even renowned athletes -- you know, the people we admire because of the incredible strength they probably gained through exercises like weightlifting -- get berated with the same derogatory messages and comments. For example, Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings explained to Cosmopolitan that she often gets told, "Oh, you look like a boy, you don't have boobs." Good one. Real original.
Even Serena Williams was recently told in a tweet that the "main reason for her success is that she is built like a man."
(Side note: J.K. Rowling's response here is amazing, and I need her to marry me yesterday.)
Bottom line: Female athletes and weightlifting enthusiasts are strong as hell, both physically and mentally.
Besides, are us ladies simply not allowed to enjoy the many benefits of weightlifting? From fighting depression, to building lean muscle, and creating a stronger mind, women deserve to be encouraged to make those physical and mental #gains, not shamed for it.
TBH, I can't wait for the day when women can step into the weight room and not have to worry about judgmental side-eyes and unsolicited, disgusting comments.
Until that day, women like Wells combat the sexist, body-shaming negativity by reminding us how important it is to support one another.
Wells wrote in an Instagram post on Sept. 14,
We are all DIFFERENT. Different bodies, different strengths, different experiences, different goals. But we are all WOMEN. And we ALL deserve to be HEALTHY and HAPPY."
Preach, girl, preach.
On that note, I'm going to go lift some weights.