Cultural expectations of femininity and intersection with fitness

Sanjay852

BANNED
Jun 25, 2020
2
0
10
Just like a lot of people my family seems to have pretty strong feelings about how i look. For most of my life I've been overweight and over the past few years I've finally prioritized my health enough to get over my initial reluctance to work out. I love going to the gym, building muscle, running, and discovering new sports and hobbies.
It seems like no matter what activity I do my parents have strong feelings about how I look. When I was mostly running this summer I lost quite a bit of weight and they said I was getting too thin and have lost my 'feminine curves'. Now that I'm going to the gym again and am happy to rebuild my strength they say I am looking masculine and there's no reason for a young woman to have muscle.
I know objectively that I feel better and am happier with how I look now compared to 2 years ago, but every time I visit them I feel really self conscious and wonder if I actually look emasculate. I'm wondering how other people have dealt with the expectation of looking/behaving a certain way while prioritizing health and fitness

https://jiofi-localhtml.gen.in/
https://19216881.link
https://router-network.uno
 
Last edited:
Just like a lot of people my family seems to have pretty strong feelings about how i look. For most of my life I've been overweight and over the past few years I've finally prioritized my health enough to get over my initial reluctance to work out. I love going to the gym, building muscle, running, and discovering new sports and hobbies.
It seems like no matter what activity I do my parents have strong feelings about how I look. When I was mostly running this summer I lost quite a bit of weight and they said I was getting too thin and have lost my 'feminine curves'. Now that I'm going to the gym again and am happy to rebuild my strength they say I am looking masculine and there's no reason for a young woman to have muscle.
I know objectively that I feel better and am happier with how I look now compared to 2 years ago, but every time I visit them I feel really self conscious and wonder if I actually look emasculate. I'm wondering how other people have dealt with the expectation of looking/behaving a certain way while prioritizing health and fitness
Is this a serious question? Sorry, but there are some first time posters who only present random questions, so if you really care just write back. :)
 
Well, you already know that you feel good this way, so if it only comes up when you visit your parents this might be mostly about your relationship with your family. I know I always feel like a child when I am with them and cannot really be the person I am today. I except that as I am only visiting them sometimes. If you see your parents often you should talk to them. It's your body, your appearance, they should not talk about it like you are an object, no matter what you look like. If they cared about your health, this would be a bit different, but otherwise they should just leave you alone on this. You, I hope, do not commentate on their bodies regularly either.

Regarding society and "feminine" looks: I don't know which country you are from. Here, I feel sportive bodies are now prioritized over classical feminine ones. But I know my sister, who is tall and extremely sportive, would like to look more feminine. Still she is, I am glad to say that, not willing to give up sports for that, as she does not do it for the looks, but because she enjoys all kinds of sports, especially outdoor.

There will always be people who say stuff about your looks or judge your body silently, no matter what you look like. In the end it's not important. You have to feel good. People who don't like you because you are not "feminine" enough are idiots. It's that simple. I know emotionally it's harder, but really the only thing that matters is how you feel in your body.

Personally I just don't care about what people think anymore. There was a time when I was going to the gym 3 or four times a week, working out hard, also cycling and stuff, and I met guys who still told me what more I could do to look better. Those guys, I want nothing to do with them anymore. If sports is about fun, aims, moving and this feeling like you "fly" it's great. When it becomes about looks and what other people think of you it's self-destruction, no matter whether you improve your biceps or your butt.

Maybe, if you keep on having these thoughts, you could do some other sports, join clubs, where sports is more about being together, having sportive aims, reaching goals, but not just a certain body shape or weight. This could help because if your self-esteem depends on what other people think about your body, that's always a bad start.

About femininity in our society: ** these expectations. I think society should be over this by now. As a woman I often (not only) love men who look a bit androgynous or even feminine. Prefabricated gender expectations are just silly. (You know that music video for "Fade" by Kanye West?)
 
It is likely that the people who make 'how to improve yourself' comments and suggestions are concerned about your long-term future. There are always decisions and compromises regarding 'what do I want now', and 'where do I want to be in xx years'.

Jay
 
Reactions: BlueRoads
It is likely that the people who make 'how to improve yourself' comments and suggestions are concerned about your long-term future. There are always decisions and compromises regarding 'what do I want now', and 'where do I want to be in xx years'.

Jay
Like "if you do not look feminine enough now how will you be able to get a husband and will you even have caring children when you are old" - concerns?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY