#MyBodyIs Campaign Has Professional Athletes Tackling Body Image And Body Positivity In The Best Way Possible
When we think of the ideal body, it's usually in relation to its form, not it's function. In my opinion, the standard for ideal body performance is held my professional athletes. Not only are their bodies toned to perfection, but also perform to the highest of standards. As it turns out, professional athletes don't escape the world of body insecurities. For a new campaign called #MyBodyIs, professional athletes take on body image, what makes them body conscious, and — most importantly — how they've been able to overcome these insecurities.
All athletes, both men and women, are constantly expected not only to perform at top levels in their sport, but also to look good doing it. Consider, for example, ESPN's "Body Issue," with fully naked athletes posing for the camera. Or take a look at how former gymnast turned nationally competitive weightlifter Samantha Wright was turned into a meme when she came to the world's attention: "Four years ago, I not only entered the national weightlifting scene, I also crossed the threshold into the land of the Internet," Wright wrote in a recent post for Ravishly. "GIFs and memes captured my most unflattering movements, Tumblr artists offered their best renditions of me... and Pop Hangover declared me the 'Cutest Weightlifter.'" These examples and more perpetuate the image of an "athletic body" being one particular type — and our society's habit of valuing these bodies for how they look over how they perform.
However, for a video for #MyBodyIs, athletes are discussing how body image issues helped push them to excel in their sport, how they've ditched the haters, and how they've learned to love their bodies for what they are. Check out a few of the highlights here, and scroll down to watch the full video:
Heidi Buehler, professional dancer:
Reggie Theus, former NBA star:
"I think today's athletes are much more conscious of how they look and their bodies. We were more conscious of how out jumpshot looked than if we had abs or not."
KK Clark, water polo Olympian:
"Being insecure as an athlete has driven me to prove people wrong."
Juan Hernandez, amputee para-cyclist:
"My advice for anybody that's overcoming a body image disability, I'd say to them 'go out and pursue what your dreams are."
Adrian McPherson, LA KISS quarterback:
Shane Collard, professional dancer:
"Be your body and just be the best in your body that you can be."
Athletes aren't the only ones who have joined the #mybodyis team. People across the Internet have joined the cause promoting positive body image on social media:
Good. Perfection is boring.
Not even professional athletes.
It's in what we do with them.
What is your body to you?