Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Look better naked.

If you ever follow the CrossFit main site, you know that in the last month there have been a couple of pictures, posted on the front page, that have caused quite a controversy. Of course I can’t resist weighing in on my personal opinion. I have so many opinions; I figure it’s only fair to share with everyone.

These pictures featured topless (from the back) CrossFit women hanging from a pull-up bar. I could not resist taking my own picture in the same manner. I should also add that my dear friend, Cari and I, took topless pictures, in board-shorts, of ourselves to mimic a humorous CrossFit parody over a year ago. We should have submitted them to CrossFit HQ. Apparently we were ahead of our time. I won’t post those pics. She would kill me. Anyway, let’s just talk a moment about what is seen in a picture like this.

Here is what I see. . . Well, first and foremost, I do not see a woman being objectified. I also do not see anything obscene, or racy, or even outright sexy. What I see is the back and legs of a woman who trains. I see a woman with visible muscle tone – which means she’s worked pretty hard for it. I see someone strong enough to hold her body weight over a pull-up bar. I see someone who is proud of her hard work. That is simply all I see.

Here is what some other people have seen in photos like this. . . Outrage. Sexism. Objectification. The comments have been numerous and very impassioned. This certainly strikes a nerve with some people. Quick to criticize. Form judgment. They critique musculature. Question ability. Form opinions on the women in the pictures.

My question is why? Why do they care that I, or anyone else, choose to pose for a picture to display my aesthetic physical accomplishments?

I think it makes some people uncomfortable. For many reasons, I’m guessing. Modest sensibilities at the top of the list? Thinking that this distracts from “serious training?” By the way, it doesn’t. Even girls who’ll pose topless, want to kick your ass in a WOD.

I don’t know why so many people are seriously bothered by pictures like this. Should I be more modest? Heck no. Or maybe. I don't know. But I am 40 years old. I am proud of my body. I should be able to show it without criticism. And it’s not like I walk around a gym topless. It’s just a photo. We see photos of ripped dudes almost daily on CrossFit.com. Do we complain? Do we cry outrage? No. We take in the beautiful view and say “thank you.” This outrage is specifically placed towards women. Not fair, people.

There seems to be an element of the CrossFit community that still hold on to the belief that a “fit” woman should not care about how she looks. Or show it off. That is complete crap. The vast majority of CrossFit women, started CrossFit training to find the means to ONE end. . . to look better naked. Now, I will say, I also believe they found (as I have), that there is more to fitness than fitting in to a smaller pair of jeans. Although, even the hard-core, would appreciate those sides affects.

My point is. . . Yes, I care about my performance in the gym. Yes, I care about my numbers, my max lifts, my physical accomplishments. But yes, I also care about how I look. And yes, that fact contributes to my drive to work out. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Look at a picture like this. Appreciate it, or don't, for what it is, and read nothing more in to it.

This is a picture of my fitness journey. And I am proud of it.


  1. Great commentary Lori. Well said : )

  2. Lori, I don't think we've ever met. I trained with Brady at Sumner Crossfit, and stumbled onto your blog from the LTCF site. I've enjoyed reading your posts. Love the picture you posted here. You've worked hard and it shows! I couldn't agree with you more about the backside shots on the mainsite. However, I was a little dismayed to see bare butts on there the other day. Eewwww! I don't think they (whoever the powers that be that are in charged of that stuff???) needed to go THERE.

    Anyway, thought I would introduce myself and maybe we will meet in person somewhere in this small world of Crossfit land.

    Loraine Taylor

  3. Way to go friend! I love pics of strong women with actual muscle tone and not just skin and bones.
    I'm not going to lie...I was expecting a phone call saying you wanted to do a bare butts pic and you would have been on your own for that one. I have done a lot of crazy pics with you but that one is just too much! I was glad you agreed.