A few of my other athlete friends at school began a Facebook page and I guess you could call it a movement, towards having a healthier body image by being happier with your own body. I was extremely surprised at the high participation among not only female student athletes at W&M but also female athletes from other school programs and even regular students from both my school and other schools. It’s very cool for such a big group of girls to come together and be happier with our images!
How it worked was that there were seven athletes from my school that started up “My Body My Ideal”, a swimmer, a tennis player, two volleyball players, a cross country runner, a track runner and a lacrosse player. They all posted a photo of them to the group and captioned it with physical characteristics that a “typical” model would have, or how a young female “should” look, followed by traits that they did have and were proud of. Of course everybody’s bodies shapes and sizes are different and everyone views themselves differently from others, but being about to watch so many people publicly post pictures of themselves (in most cases a sports bra and spandex) and actually write down their insecurities was amazing. Also in the caption was a “challenge” to their friends to do the same thing and to then challenge their friends to keep the reaction rolling.
One of the project’s founders was one of my housemates, so naturally she had challenged me and our other two housemates, along with some of her teammates and regular student friends. Because this project moved me in how awesome its cause is and how successful it was attracting young women to also post pictures of themselves while following through with their challenge, I decided to share it with all of my lovely readers!
A lot of girls would use something from their sport as a prop in their picture to help easily identify what sport they played, so here was the picture I posted to the group. Just me in a sports bra and shorts (I don’t ever wear spandex unless I absolutely have to – or if I’m wearing a tennis skirt or running skirt) with my sneakers (shoutout to Under Armour for the awesome and comfortable Speedform Apollos) and awkwardly holding my field hockey stick. The basement of William and Mary Hall is the home to the Varsity Athletic Training Room, the Varsity Strength and Conditioning Weight Room (look out for blogs about these in the future!), and the locker rooms for the Varsity sports teams. There are also these cool, black, inspirational/motivational signs every eight feet or so that apparently were all installed as some sort of project for Tribe Athletics like ten years ago? I’m not completely sure, that’s just something I was told one time. As a lover of all quotes or inspirational or motivational value, I’m obsessed with (the majority of) these little signs. I mean almost all of them are very cool but some of them say things like “Fall seven times, get up eight.” Very original am I right?!
I digress; so on the My Body My Ideal page, I posted, “I’m a sophomore on William and Mary’s varsity Field Hockey team. I don’t have a thigh gap, thin legs, curves or tan skin. However, I am strong, happy, motivated and resilient. I think it’s definitely important to promote a healthy body image, especially since recently the media is playing such a huge role in portraying the ‘right’, ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ body image.”
I strongly believe that it is extremely essential for everyone (girls and guys) to have a positive self image and think positively of his or herself both physically but also as a person in general. If you want to look into the project a little more – or maybe even throw the page a like or share! – the link to the Facebook page is here!