Sunday, August 5, 2012

CrossFit Girls: Looks Causing Controversy

Bella Clayton. From
Pamela Monger. From
Whenever a picture like these pops up on, 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.

Camille Leblanc-Bazinet at the 2011 CF Games. From
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. 

Where do you stand on images and videos like these? 

1 comment:

  1. "I want you to be your best self." Right on. I agree with you that this kind of stuff is not going anywhere. I'm not going to lie, it saddens me. The images may show strong instead of skinny (which is preferable in someways.) But they still objectify women. That 7 into 10's commercial shows pieces of bodies more than it does the whole person they are attached to. More over I fear that women jump the skinny ship only to get on the the muscular ship- with both ships docked on the shore of Im not enough as I am. I wonder if CFHQ thinks, "we'll real em' in with the hot bod stuff of popular culture and then once they're in they'll pay more attention to function." Which I think happens everyday at CF boxes. People join to lose weight and look good naked, but start paying more attention to what they can do. Even if thats CFHQs end game, I think there is a better way to go sexy than that commercial. I fully understand that they need to sell camille and not grandma doing crossfit, but you can sell camille without selling out in my opinion.

    I have personally decided that instead of wasting my energy going against things like the 7 into 10's commercial, instead of putting energy into what I am against. I am going to invest all of my energy into what I am for. I am for CF making lives better, making people healthy and functional, people becoming THIER OWN BEST VERSIONS.

    Aimee posted this quote on the blog on saturday, "I do not at all understand the mystery of grace-only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us."
    -Anne Lamott. When we can accept ourselves by stopping trying to live up to another ideal....we become our best. Acceptance doesn't stop our progression, it is key to us discovering whats possible.


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