I always find myself procrastinating the gym for a million reasons. I am too tired, I don’t feel well, and most importantly I don’t want to embarrass myself. I would love to learn how to lift weights and I know that many women including my friends love to life weights at the gym. I am scared of getting laughed at or being told I am doing it wrong. There is a gender stereotype around the gym that men lit the weights and woman stick to cardio. This is a dumb saying because I want to be strong and build muscles.
There is also a stereotype that women should be lean and skinny while men should be big and strong and powerful. I believe that you should be able to go to the gym and do whatever you want without getting looked at or judged for your choices of how you wan tto exercise your own body.
According to an article by GirlsGlobe, when men are all huddled in the weight lifting section and women stay by the cardio, “it reinforces gender norms. It is loaded with expectations of what an ideal body type is. And it restricts use and access of certain facilities.”
A few months ago I went to the gym with a friend who was really into lifting. She would lift very heavy amount and she was extremely strong. There were a bunch of men looking over and someone actually went up to her and said “That looks like a lot of weight, you may want to lift less than that so you don’t become too muscular. Want me to help you?” My jaw dropped. What does this person care what she looks like or how much she lifts? I think it would be best if people quit the looks and the comments and everyone minded their own business. People go to the gym for many different reasons and maybe becoming muscular was her goal. Sometimes we need to think before we say.
These stereotypes about men and women bodies cause us to stay away from certain exercise machines. When I walk around the gym I see girls watching videos of famous models doing workout routines. These girls hope to reach these unrealistic bodies. What some of these girls don’t understand is that these you tubers, are most likely not even professional fitness trainers. A lot of these people with the unrealistic bodies edit themselves or were just born that way. We should be going to the gym to create healthy bodies not to try to become someone else.
After all of these realizations, I related it back to how I grew up. I always thought I was tough and strong because me and my brothers would always play rough. We would practice WWE matches, boxing, and karate. You name it, we were doing it. My brothers were wrestlers and wold practice on me all of the time. I never felt like I was weaker or smaller than my brothers because they always made sure I knew how tough I was. When I started going to the gym and seeing the separation, I was always confused. There had been many things that I have noticed while getting older that have to do with gender roles. But the gym really confused me. We are all trying to keep our body healthy. So why is there a certain way that boys are supposed to work out that is different then girls?
We put too much pressure on how our bodies look and not enough pressure on our health. I think things would be a lot easier if more women went to the gym so that others didn’t feel so out numbered. This is why gyms like planet fitness are amazing. Planet fitness is a beginners judgement free gym where everyone can feel like they belong.