Language is a so powerful, from the written to the spoken word- what we say, how we say it and the context can all mean so many things. When we look at women and how women are portrayed across the mediums such as film, TV, in business and in sport- language plays a huge part in the stereotype, in both helping to stop women being stereotyped and in cases when we are the stereotype.
Language to me is so important- words become thoughts which then become actions. Looking at myself and my lifestyle choices- I always choose the salad option, will have grilled instead of fried and genuinely prefer eating a balanced healthy meal over a burger or a fry- but why then are my choices so irritating to so many?! Think about the language around being healthy- you become the bore whereas if I was all about the burgers, fast food and you know drinking wine five nights a week the language used to describe me would be very different.
This is very common amongst women- "oh will we get Chinese?" it is almost said in a manor to which there is excitement and thrill to be had, the same tone would not be said for splitting a broccoli/chicken breast creation!
As the pressure mounts to now no longer be skinny but strong- which is actually almost an even bigger task as those sculpted abs, toned pins and a rock hard ass do not come easy! I feel as women we should change the tone of the conversation and learn to really support each other, to encourage and to really mean it. To want others to do well and to be truly happy is what we all should be striving for, not to be looking on through a snarl and a negative eye.
The success of every single woman is an inspiration for us all.
On Sunday's I go training with two friends (now this group is growing as we are now at 4!) and it's just fantastic. To be out boxing at 9:30am on a Sunday morning is a great thing. My friend Jessica said this week "You know I don't know if I would come if you decided not to go" and I thought sometimes it is good to be doing things in a pack or a group, for the support and to ensure you go! We train hard, get to catch up and go for coffee afterwards. We are all there trying, training and enjoying it and are there to encourage each other through this positive outlet.
Girls are 6 times more likely to drop sports in school over our male counterparts, some blame exam pressure however it now has been widely reported that Students who play sport get, on average, better exam results. So does it boil down a vanity element or that we just feel being active and playing sporty just isn't 'cute' and 'girly'? You see this is where language plays such a huge part in changing how girls and women relate to and take part in sport.
I was in Australia in 2009/2010 and I remember a friend saying to me was I not embarrassed to be seen out running? I couldn't believe it but simply answered no but I would be embarrassed if I was caught in eating a kebab! So how do we as women change the conversation? We start using positive encouraging language around physical activity and move away from the constant working of weight loss, being skinny and the strive for perfection. We put some much pressure on ourselves that often we forget the fun element and endorphins we get from running, swimming, walking, weight lifting, Crossfit, Pilates- whatever you want.
Remember one thing, there are no limitations for women, we can be whatever we want to be. We need to embrace ourselves and realise having a bright red face for 20 minutes a after training session is prolonging our lives-making us healthy, stronger and happier and in my opinion the glow of a healthy person is something that money simply can't buy.
So for your next friends meet up why not do something together you have never done as a group before- go running, swing a kettle bell or hot yoga and see how together you can foster a stronger image for yourself, in your friends and for your entire group.