Women who work out are routinely told they “look manly” if they are strong - just ask Serena Williams if you don’t believe us.
But now, a fitness blogger has hit back at those who criticise women for building muscle by saying “there is 100% beauty and femininity in lifting weights”.
Kelsey Wells told her followers: “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.
“The only thing a woman needs to do to be beautiful and feminine is to be herself.”
Wells said despite being a typical “girly girly” growing up, she finds weightlifting and doing what she loves empowering.
“I feel most beautiful when I’m gross and sweaty in the gym when I’m pushing myself in my training, and even more so as I’m wrestling on the floor with my son or any time I’m looking into that little face and teaching him about his world,” she said.
She added that beauty has “nothing to do with what you look like”, insisting instead that beauty is about feeling connected to what you enjoy.
“There is beauty in motherhood. There is beauty in marriage. There is beauty in being a homemaker. There is beauty in being single. There is beauty in pursuing a career. There is beauty in education, in learning both inside and outside of school. There is beauty in public speaking. There is beauty in private, sincere conversation,” she said.
“There is beauty in writing and cooking and cleaning and singing and playing sports and playing instruments and anything and everything else you might enjoy, because simply there is so much beauty in you, you just need to choose to see it.”
She ended her post by telling her followers to free themselves from the opinions of others “and the beauty standards of society”.
“Pay attention to the moments in life you feel beautiful,” she said.
“What are you doing? Do more of that.”
The post has been liked more than 24,000 times, with hundreds of people commenting to thank Wells for sending such a positive message.
“Thank you for being a voice to help all of us realise we must not live inside other people’s boxes,” one user said.
Another added: “This is just so on point. Thank you so much for sharing this stuff and inspiring and motivating and empowering so many people.”