We've talked a lot about body shaming in recent years, but one form of shaming that seems to often be missed is the idea that women shouldn't be muscular. Tecia Torres, a UFC fighter, opened up about this form of body shaming in an Instagram post last week.
"Truth be told, for as long as I can remember I've struggled with my body image," she wrote.
Although she is naturally thin and muscular, Torres was still bullied for her body growing up.
"Girls in my middle school class would draw a 'masculine muscular' looking women on the board, in an attempt to make fun of me. It worked. I felt alone and like my body was different," she wrote.
Her body was different, of course, because she had grown up doing martial arts and had more muscle definition than most other girls her age. What Torres as a little girl hadn't yet learned — and what many of us still struggle to see — is that having a different body didn't mean she had a bad body.
The bullying took on a new form when she started fighting, Torres continued, and her competitors would still talk about how she was bulky.
"Because I am in such phenomenal shape I must me using some type of performance enhancing drug," she wrote. "On The Ultimate Fighter rumor had it I was throwing up. I've always found these comments so hilarious. I'm confident in saying I'm one of cleanest athletes in the sport."
Now, she says she's "on the opposite side of silly adult bullying" and can see that what makes her different also makes her beautiful.
"I am grateful to live in a generation where strong is being seen as beautiful and little girls are growing up knowing their bodies were made beautifully no matter what shape, size, or color it is," she said.
It's true that we're more vocal than ever about learning to love our bodies as they are, and that we should celebrate being plus-size or having stretch marks or any of the other things that are seen as "flaws." But it's easy to get lost in the idea that the body positive movement is only about plus-size women. While their stories are important, and it's undeniable that plus-size women face more discrimination daily than thin people ever will, body positivity is about speaking out against the shame all people (and especially women) face.
Torres's post shows us that even someone as incredibly fit as she is gets bullied for her body.
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