Self-described ‘muscle woman’ Pauline Nordin reveals the five things she is tired of hearing

1. Aren’t you worried about bulking up?

Yeah totally. I mean that’s why I spend 24/7 in the gym working out, because I am absolutely terrified of my muscles getting bigger. Literally quivering with fear as I lift these insanely heavy weights, which will no doubt, strengthen and build my muscles. No! Of course the answer is no. I wouldn’t do what I do for a living if I was.

2. Isn’t building muscle a masculine thing to do?

Yawn. As a woman living in 2016, I should be able to do the thing I love without judgement. It’s time to ditch these archaic gender stereotypes, they are so ridiculous. I mean think about it, why on earth is strengthening muscle seen as a masculine thing to do? Both women and men have the same muscles, and both have the ability to build and strengthen those muscles. It really is that simple. Unless you think it is wrong for a woman to be strong – in which case #seeya !

3. You must be using steroids.

No hunni. Getting this body took a lot of time, dedication, focus and energy; please don’t flippantly discredit that. And I hate to break it to you, but there’s no magical can of spinach I can down that instantly bulks me up either (that was a Popeye reference for those of you too young to remember). For women to develop any kind of muscularity we need to put in a lot more effort than men to achieve the same results. You might also assume I achieved my ‘toned’ look by doing high rep circuits in a leopard-print leotard, using fluorescent pink dumbbells whilst listening to ‘Physical’ by Olivia Newton-John, but nothing could be further from the truth. I have worked out “like a man” lifting heavy weights, in sweaty gyms for years.

4. You look like a man.

Do I…? Really? (See picture below). I don’t think I do and it’s kinda harsh of you to say that. Being a feminist, it concerns me that women in particular are categorising other women depending on their body shape. Why do you think skinny women, obese women or muscular women are not feminine or ‘womanly’, and why is it so important to you that women look “feminine” in the way that society has deemed appropriate. If all women were to accept these norms of ‘femininity’, it would be to purely please others; of course it’s okay to have a ‘type’ or a certain body as your favoured physique, but think twice about calling women who don’t fit into these ideals ‘unwomanly’ – that is a very dangerous message to send to young girls.

[full-width-figure image=”https://www.ditchthelabel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/unnamed-8.jpg” alt=”female body builder”]

5. Your muscle scares me/ must scare other people off.

Wow, you’re easily scared! And I haven’t even shown you my fangs, broomstick, horns or pitchfork yet? #kidding #notkidding

Written by Pauline Nordin

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