Olympic Sized Objections to the Media

I feel a rant coming on.

In case you’ve been living in a cave in the remote mountains of Outer Mongolia, you will know that the Olympics is on.  I have zero interest.  I never have, and unless I am invited to join Prince William and Prince Harry for a day, the likelihood of me ever being interested is nil.

The newspapers (online) have been full of X wins Gold/Silver/Bronze.  Thousands of words have been dedicated to celebrating the athletes accomplishments and their medal haul – or lack thereof in a few cases.  Totally news worthy and congratulations to everyone for being selected to represent your country.  It’s an amazing feat!

Naturally there is a flip side…

There has been the standard “what so-and-so eats for breakfast” articles.  At no point do these articles say that the people who ‘created’ the recipe are on very strict and balanced diets which conform to the sport they dedicate their lives to.  A weight lifter does not have the same diet as a triathlete, for example.  That has bothered be a little.

However, what has really bothered me is the ridiculous amount of time spent over the competitors bodies.

There has been the inevitable myriad of photographs of Tom Daley and this diving pals in their teeny tiny trunks.  There are also a fair few of all the male swimmers.  Very few of their female counterparts.

One ‘delightful’ article was asking people to vote for who had the most appealing ‘package’.  It wasn’t even in The Star of The Sun.  WTF?!!?

There was an article questioning whether female athletes like Jessica Ennis-Hall, who has had a gorgeous baby boy since the 2012 games in the UK, will ever get back to her pre-baby best.  How bloody rude!  She has also aged 4yrs since the last one so maybe if she isn’t as good, it’s about her having peaked due to age like 99% of the rest of the athletes not because she had a baby.  Grrr.

Speaking of, there was a huge article on the 41yr old gymnast competing for Uzbekistan.  I read it thinking it would be lovely and empowering – it wasn’t.  It was a thinly veiled attack on her age.  It subtly (or not so subtly if I took the meaning from it) suggested that there needed to be an age limit for various events.  To cap it all off, it constantly reminded the reader she has children the age of her competitors.  Seriously!?

Then there was the story of an Ethiopian swimmer who came in last.  He wouldn’t have been mentioned at all in normal circumstances – well probably in his home country but not in the international press.  He was however picked out of obscurity not because he gave it his absolute all, but because he has a bit of a tummy.  They even nicknamed him “The Whale”.  My blood was boiling.

That made me mad, but this one takes the biscuit…

The news outlets and the ‘charming’ world of the internet have joined forces to troll a Mexican gymnast.

Alexa Moreno stands at 5ft tall and weighs 100lbs.  HOW is that fat?

To give you an example, the media have been lauding Kim Kardashian for her ‘new’ body.  She stands at 5ft 2 and weighs 125lbs.

So let’s recap:

Kim, who does absolutely fuck all apart from tart around the word pouting and wearing incredibly ugly clothes, who has made her name for her body being way over exposed, is celebrated for being beautiful and sexy.  She is called a goddess.  She is worshiped by millions.  She make MILLIONS.

Alexa pushes her body to extremes.  She pushes her limits by training daily.  She is competing for her country in the most revered sporting event on the planet.  She is in peak physical condition.  She is not only flexible but strong. Yet she is called a pig and fat-shamed.

What the Actual Fuck?????

What is so wrong with the world that Kim is idolised and someone who has literally competed to become the best in her country at her chosen sport, and is now completing to be crowned the best in the world, is ridiculed?  How?  Just how?

It makes me so incredibly angry.  If I am blessed enough to have a little girl, I hope that she has the confidence to stand up and be the best version of herself, no matter what anyone else says.

I have been fat shamed.  For the record, I stand at 6ft tall and weigh a little over 200lbs (I actually don’t know exactly as I refuse to get weighed regularly).  I wear a UK size 16-18, or US size 12-14.  I am fat by society and medical standards.  I know this.  But what on earth gives someone the right to abuse me for it?  I have literally had abuse screamed at me in public, and then on the other end, abusive and derogatory comments posted on my social media.

Do you know that actually sharing my weight just there made me pause my typing. Why should it?  It’s because I have been programmed by the media my whole life to know I am not only too tall, which is something I can’t do anything about, but that I am also too fat.  That fat equates to stupid, to ugly and to unhealthy.

Well that’s just bullshit.

I am happy.  I have a good life.  I have amazing friends.  I have a good job.  I am in a comfortable place in my existence.

I am healthy.  I get sick less often with colds and the like than anyone I work with, and the majority of my friends.  My immune system is actually very strong.

I am loved.  My family love me.  My friends love me.  My boy loves me.

So you know what internet and media world?  GET FUCKED.

People are beautiful not because of their BMI but because of their hearts.  Because of the way their live their lives.  Because of their smile.  Because they aren’t bullies.  Because they don’t victimise people for the way they look.  Because they are nice.

I think that I have run out of steam now.

Do yourself a favour.  Watch Alexa Moreno’s amazing routines and take a moment to comment with something positive.  Let’s outweigh the hatred.  Lets bombard her with love, respect and support.

It’s time to change the narrative.  It can start with something that simple.

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8 thoughts on “Olympic Sized Objections to the Media

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  3. WELL DONE YOU! You have articulated with wonderful clarity a subject near and dear to my own heart….I would love to see your post in a larger forum, where more people can hear the message you are sending, the message we should ALL be sending……I am SO proud of you for being brave (and MAD enough) to make this statement. Love ya girl! Mama Shall

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