You don’t need runway model legs to be desirable, successful and beautiful, says female bodybuilder Kortney Olson.
Hi, my name is Kortney Olson and I’m a recovering leg hater. However, today I can hand-on-heart say, “I love my thighs”, but it took a long time to get here.
Growing up with big legs sucked. Straight up. To this day, I still semi-cringe when I hear the words ‘thunder thighs’. It wasn’t until I hit 29 that I started to understand that I was born with something that every man envied: naturally dense, thick as a stump, python-crushing pillar-wheels.
It’s a known fact that, genetically speaking, females are born with bigger lower halves. Thanks to evolution and the fact that we need bigger hips for childbearing, us chicks are more often than not carrying more mass downstairs than most males. The challenge with all of this is that mainstream media has most females brainwashed into thinking we need a thigh-gap in order to be desirable, successful and beautiful.
Well, I’m here to tell you it’s a load of crap. After being in the bodybuilding world for several years, I started to discover more and more that society, and men in general, truly appreciate female strength. Most men don’t expect women to have sticks for legs. In fact, if I had a dollar for every time I got a free cab ride, got to cut to the front of a line, or was told how amazing my legs were by a male, I’d be buying Richard Branson off his own island.
Over the past several centuries (and even more so decades), the mainstream media has women being portrayed as the ideal standard of beauty if they have runway model legs. A majority of females have no idea how this affects us on a subconscious level. The type of body that is portrayed in mainstream media fits less than five per cent of the average woman’s body type.
It’s imperative that females remind themselves (and one another) that they have the choice to buy into this façade of unachievable ‘ideal beauty’, or to become more realistic, and consciously decide that they’re going to ‘work what their mama gave ’em’. To choose to embrace the fact that women are designed to have bigger legs.
If women knew how hard men trained to have legs that are as thick and dense like us, we all might wake up thinking how lucky we are. But the whole point of advertising is to sell us crap we don’t need — and leave us wanting what we don’t have.
A Public Health Crisis
When I’m not in the gym, I work with young females on healthy body image. The issues we’re having as a society in western culture around the topic are considered a public health crisis. Often, it is the root problem that is causing girls to engage in more risky behaviour that leads down a path of derailment. Take this statistic for example: According to a study conducted in the US from 2011, 53 per cent of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their body. That number increases to 78 per cent by age 17.
One of my favourite activities is reminding young girls of what the ideal standard of beauty was several centuries ago. The best way of doing this is showing them paintings from the renowned artists of that era. One of my favourites is an oil painting from 1538, Titian’s ‘Venus Of Urbino’ (see below). Historically, women were depicted as round and thick. Women’s bodies are round, like all things powerful: the sun, the moon, the earth. When a woman goes out and wants to pick up, she goes out knowing. She goes out knowing that she’ll get what she wants. Men, on the other hand, go out wanting, wishing, hoping, praying, wondering. Women ultimately have the power — we are the creators of life.
I often ask girls this: “What is the most powerful force in the world?” Do you need a few extra seconds? Mother Nature. Notice how it’s not named Father Nature. If females understood and embraced the fact that we are designed to be machines, we’d have a lot more productivity going on out there.
Just take for example our pain threshold. It’s millennia beyond men. My husband catches the flu and wants to die. Women, on the other hand, push a small living person out of their vagina! Women inherently have no ‘off switch’. When we went to battle, it was ’til the death. We generally only resorted to fighting to protect our most precious asset, our children. Men, on the other hand fought for chivalry. I remind girls that on a cellular level, every single female has an element of a warrior inside. If she taps into it and flips that switch, there is no stopping her.
Do you see where this is going? I’m not a feminist by any stretch, but I am a massive advocate for gender equality [I think that does make you a feminist, Kort. Nothing to be ashamed of — Ed] as well as teaching females the truth behind the mass media and what its agenda is. If all brands started promoting strong and powerful female bodies as the ‘ideal beauty’, we would have way less of a challenge on our hands. But until such time, it’s up to us as a collective to make a conscious decision to love what our mama gave us, and support the female body in such a way that promotes our inherent design: big, thick and powerful.
Every Day Should Be A Leg Day
Finally, before wrapping up, can I please remind men that every day should be leg day. There is nothing more pathetic than a man who trains his upper body like a beast, but refuses to put in the extra hard work when it comes to developing legs to match. Yes, training legs can be brutal for most men, but it’s an absolute must. Seeing a man who is a tank on top but a toothpick on the bottom is about as sad as North Korea’s political system. It just isn’t right.
Kortney Olson is a certified personal trainer, Level 1 AWF (Australian Weightlifting Federation) Olympic lifting coach, bodybuilding competitor, NRL fitness consultant, Australia’s first female arm-wrestling champion, the author of KBS11 and much more. She is also the founder of Kamp Konfidence, a prevention-based wellness camp for teenage girls. Find out more at konfidencebykortney.com and www.kbs11.com.
Courtesy of: Australian Ironman