Professional Athletes Say Some Shocking Things About Body Image In A New Campaign

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This one is for all the people in the world who never feel like their bodies measure up to the impossible standards of “perfection” that are daily thrust upon us…

Buzzfeed released this awesome video of a group of professional athletes sharing their stories of how insecure they have felt at times because of the things people have said about their bodies. We know, you’re probably thinking “if athletes are made to feel bad, what hope is there for the rest of us?”

Plenty. Because it turns out athletes (and this is probably the most shocking part, you guys) are humans too, and unfortunately suffer like the rest of us mere mortals. In fact it’s probably worse for them because having a certain type of physique is not an option for them, it is crucial as their careers depend on it.

“My body is my greatest tool as an athlete, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about it.” That’s the overall statement this powerful video is trying to make.

The video features statements of vulnerability from Reggie Theus – NBA Allstar 1981, 1983, Adrian McPherson – LA KISS Quarterback, JC Hernandez – Amputee Para-Cyclist, Shane Collard – Professional Dancer, Amanda Douglas – Reebok CrossFit Games Athlete, KK Clark – Water Polo, Team USA and Heidi Buehler – Professional Dancer.

“I’ll have girls come in the gym all the time, look me up and down and say ‘I don’t want to get bulky’,” shares Amanda Douglas about her experience in the cross fit gym.

“I have really big thighs and I love them now,” she continues, saying that her thighs are representative of the power she exhibits, not her insecurities based on other people’s standards.

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“I see people always looking at me at the starting line of a race and I can tell they’re judging me and probably questioning what I’m doing there,” said paralympic cyclist JC Hernandez. He lost his leg due to a helicopter accident so he started cycling as part of his physical therapy and he has never looked back.

Football quarterback Adrian McPherson, on the opposite end of the spectrum says he used to wear multiple layers of clothing to look bulkier than his skinny frame when he was young, in fear of being teased.

What’s interesting is the healthy mix of men and women in this video. Normally when we think of empowering body image messages we are traditionally seeing it portrayed as a “women’s” issue. But it affects us all, male and female. Athlete and amateur.

“It doesn’t matter what you look like, it matters how you play,” said Adrian McPherson at the end.

“It’s not perfect, but it’s ok,” says former Basketballer Reggie Theus. Contrary to what he thinks, his body the way it is IS in fact perfect. Why do we constantly think perfect is something we are not? When are we going to normalize perfect as something we already are, rather than something unrealistic we need to try and achieve.

Set yourself health goals, but don’t base them solely on image, insecurities and impossibly standards. While you are on your personal fitness journey, just like these athletes have learned to do, accept your body and embrace everything is is able to do.

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  1. Pingback: Link Love #55 - Relationship with Food, Wearing Shorts, Body Image and Aging & More... | Allison Bryant

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