Like many humans of the Western female persuasion, I have spent a fair bit of my life attempting to be very slim. It's always seemed a fairly obvious goal to have and in theory not unattainable, since (although I eat like a horse and have a weakness for stodge) I mostly enjoy healthy food, walk everywhere, and am genetically inclined away from obesity. I'm no chubber, but the 'ideal' size and weight has always just been slightly down the road a stretch - there's always seemed a lot of room to be skinnier and smaller, even when I've been at my skinniest and smallest. And somehow I've never questioned whether I should want that or not, or what the implications could be.
But...why should women all want to be physically less? So they can look extra weak and in need of protection at all times? So they can take up less of the precious space that men should rightfully occupy, with their own societally imposed ideal of being Bigger and Stronger? Hmmm. My strident feminist side isn't too keen on either of those ideas.
Im not saying that I'm pro-fat. I am still the product of my own society after all; I spent way too many years (age 11 to age 30 to be precise) devouring fashion magazines to be that mentally liberated. And to be frank, I don't think getting fatter would help me be healthier, feel more energetic or improve my aerial skills, all of which are dear to my heart. But I've decided that I am pro-lady muscles. Not quite world champion body-builder lady muscles, since I find that kind of thing a bit creepy on both sexes, but just some high-standard female buffness.
Maybe this is an inevitable result of doing a bit of aerial conditioning and being obsessed with an activity that requires a fair bit of strength, but I have suddenly become very excited about the idea of being SUPER RIPPED.
This is where I'm at right now:
As you can see, I have... can we just say, a little way to go? before I can lay claim to anything approaching buff. But it's definitely the new goal that I am using to barge the 'get smaller' mindset out of the way. 'Get bigger' feels like a much more satisfying aim to me. Why shouldn't I look like I can handle myself in an arm wrestling contest/move my own furniture/rip your head off with my bare hands? Why shouldn't I take up a bit more space as I move through this world of ours? And - bonus!- this goal will allow me to actually enjoy food rather than increasing the background rumble of guilt that has dogged many a meal (cake binge) of mine over the years.
You never know, maybe one day I will reach the dizzying heights of this CRAZY girl, holy crap she's amazing: