They say there’s something magical about putting on lingerie. Somehow, it has a way of making a woman (or anyone, we’re not here to judge) feel beautiful. Buzzfeed got together a group of eight female athletes to participate in a Victoria’s Secret photoshoot and the ladies got real about body positivity, representation and feeling confident in your own skin.
All eight women talked about how they have felt shame because of their bodies in one way or another over the course of their careers and lives. Some talked about feeling too skinny or boyish, missing out on the boobs they saw all the other girls had. Others talked about feeling too muscular compared to their thinner classmates and the struggle that comes from knowing your body is strong but still wishing it looked like everyone else’s.
Lydia Fixel, a boxer and wrestler, talked about how there isn’t just one type of athletic body either. She said that growing up as a curvier athlete was difficult too–never being the visibly muscular and thin standard that society has for athletic women.
‘I see so much of the stereotypical ripped, trained athlete,’ she said, ‘As a curvier woman, I wish there were more body shapes so that women who grow up to be athletes like myself can see and feel empowered and strong too.’
After getting all glammed up and donning their lingerie–and many sports bra comparisons–the women had their pictures taken. The experience was one they all called liberating, beautifying and empowering.
This is my body. Everyday I’m still learning to love and accept it. It’s definitely a process but I’m so thankful for incredible people like @skycowans from @buzzfeed for opening up conversation about body image in the media and how we’re progressing societally. Thank you for allowing us to represent a diverse group of strong female athletes with all different body types. I never, in a million years, thought I’d take pictures in lingerie, but it was for a cause far greater than myself and my insecurities. I walked away inspired, empowered, and with a new found confidence. But more importantly, hope to help others feel the same. Check out the video link in my bio. #femaleathletesmodellikeVictoriasSecretAngels #effyourbeautystandards #strongisbeautiful #celebratestrength #everysizeisbeautiful #performanceoveraesthetics
‘I’d tell my younger self to just stop worrying,’ said Pole Vaulter, Marlene Colin, ‘Focus on yourself, better yourself.’
‘Say, ‘You know what? Screw it. I’m just going to be sexy anyways’ and it’s sexy to just be confident,’ said softball pitcher, Erin Jones.
So at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what you look like at all. Confidence is the key. And as long as you’re healthy and comfortable in your own skin, you’ve won.