For the past few weeks, star gymnast Simone Biles has been widely celebrated following her 2016 Olympics accomplishments. Even actor Zac Efron gave her some love after she famously kissed a cardboard cutout of him.
But Biles is not without her critics, including one Twitter user who went viral for mocking a photo of Biles and fellow gymnast Aly Raisman:
In a tweet that appears to have been deleted, User@UWantMyD_aniel questioned these ladies’ attractiveness, suggesting that muscular women simply aren’t as appealing as their less-toned female counterparts.
A lot of people did not share his opinion, however. He swiftly got dragged on Twitter by other users.
these ladies worked years to reach the status they have reached, to be belittled like this is shameful
— ⚫ (@Only1Nathanie1) August 23, 2016
meanwhile you're struggling to lift weights in the gym
— Miss Keisha (@kaykayeeee) August 22, 2016
Stop degrading women and it's because they do sport, something that's obviously out of your fitness levels. https://t.co/3zzlfbvqEE
— Trent (@AllKindzOfGainz) August 22, 2016
As ATTN: noted in a recent video, many women are discouraged from toning up too much out of fear of being shamed for looking “too muscular.”
Watch here: https://www.facebook.com/attn/videos/1033989579969834/
Tennis player Serena Williams is a good example of another female athlete who has been shamed for her muscles.
“[Williams] has large biceps and a mold-breaking muscular frame, which packs the power and athleticism that have dominated women’s tennis for years,” writer Ben Rothernberg wrote. “Her rivals could try to emulate her physique, but most of them choose not to.”
A lot of people were not having that article either:
.@nytimes I guess her rivals also choose not to emulate her total domination of the sport for a decade…
— Keith Calder (@keithcalder) July 10, 2015
@nytimes Gee. I don't know. I would think if you saw how dominant a player could remain into 30s, you want want to emulate her.
— Christina Marsh, PhD (@mz_marsh) July 10, 2015
@nytimes really? Because the only women worth emulating are tiny white girls who attract the gaze of men watching tennis for other reasons?
— Shauna M. Ahern (@glutenfreegirl) July 11, 2015
Interestingly, while female athletes seem to get criticism for being muscular, male athletes are seen as attractive for having toned muscles.
— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine) August 23, 2016
Of course, full-time athletes often have toned muscles and bodies from all the — surprise! — physical activity they do, especially if they are at the Olympic-level. Criticizing their muscles is utterly ridiculous and discredits all the hard work they put into their profession.