The heaviest Olympic athlete is American weightlifter Holley Mangold at 346 pounds. But she is not the only female Olympian who has sufferred comments about her weight.
Really people? These women are in shape. You don’t just get up off your couch one day and say, “I think I’ll go be in the Olympics this year.” We are so obsessed with looks that we want to believe that the look we like equals health and even obvious evidence to the contrary doesn’t change most people’s minds.
I am not immune to pretty pictures. I will admit that I like perfectly proportioned, thin (but not too thin) women and would very much like to be one of them. But I have also seen beautiful women who are larger than the media and fashion industry approved “perfect size” and they do not deserve the criticism they often receive or the disapproving stares and snide remarks when they’re seen at the grocery store buying ice cream.
We as a society need to return to a more natural and realistic idea of what beauty means, and to accept that beauty isn’t everything and that people who are not classically beautiful deserve just as much respect as anyone else. Some people, and companies like Dove, have been trying to upgrade the definition of beauty but they keep running up against the firmly embedded stereotype.