I have a confession to make: I hate what I look like when I work out.
This doesn't mean I cower away in the changing room or cancel classes on a bad hair day, just that I don't like how I look in leggings. And as far as low body self-esteem goes, I know I'm not the only woman to wish she looked a little different.
I'm loathe to jump on the bandwagon where people blame Instagram filters for low self-esteem: the influx of 'perfect' lives and perfect bodies on social media certainly hasn't helped, but our issues started way before then (cheers, society).
Still, when I woke up on Friday morning to see a plus-size model on Nike Women's Instagram, I breathed a sigh of relief. And when a second one was uploaded over the weekend, I knew I had to thank Nike publicly.
While neither of the two plus-size Nike models represent my body type per se, in many ways any body in the public eye that differs from the sea of washboard abs represents all of us.
Because newsflash: women of all shapes and sizes go to gym. And while those of us with flab and cellulite are the majority, we remain the least represented by activewear brands and gyms.
Scroll back a few hundred images on the Nike Instagram and you'll see two things: super slim models or Serena Williams. Neither of whose bodies, I hate to break it to you ladies, is obtainable for most of us, no matter how many burpees or protein shakes you do.
This influx of imagery takes its toll, even for someone (like me) who's pretty level-headed when it comes to body image. I don't do fad diets and I exercise to for a whole load of reasons (health, strength and wellbeing), but in the cold fluorescent light of the gym I still can't block out the fact that I don't look like I want to.
The idea that women work out to achieve a certain body type has got to end. Tess Holliday, Iskra Lawrence and Dana Falsetti, a plus size yogi, are just a few inspirational accounts to champion a different aesthetic. But we've long needed a powerhouse brand like Nike on board, too.
Nike's recent nod to the fact that all women work out, may be subtle and a bit later than we'd hoped, but there is no denying the impact it will have on the account's 4.8m followers.
If the groundbreaking 'This Girl Can' campaign motivated 1.6million women to get moving, imagine what body diversity endorsement from a global brand like Nike can achieve.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more