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These Women Are Athletes – So Why do They Have to Defend their bodies?


Emily Abbott PHOTO: Ross Dance Photography

These women are elite athletes.

In their sport (which according to Forbes is a $4 billion brand) they’re not admired for their muscles, their six (or eight packs) instead, what their bodies are capable of.
Then why are they constantly having to defend their greatest tool to the world?
Meet Emily Abbott.
A three times International Crossfit Games athlete, who came 8th in 2015, yet when she was matched with a man on a Tinder equivalent, she found herself confronted by this –
“Unfortunately I’m not very attracted to women who look like men .. You’re very fit, muscly, you look like me almost .. And I’m looking for a real woman.”
He went on ..
“You’re in great shape and all .. But not a very feminine woman .. I prefer a real woman. Strong, feminine, beautiful, who pride herself on being a woman. Not trying to look like a man.”
Abbott posted the message to her 87, 700 instagram followers and the backlash was big.
The post received more than 4, 000 comments before the site removed it, private messages and emails flooded Abbott’s inbox, not to mention the hundreds of men begging the 27 year old for a chance.
The good news is Abbott knows what her so-called “manly looking” body is capable of, and she learnt to embrace the changes when she started Crossfit; “Nobody was telling me I was too strong or my arms were too big. It was so empowering,” Abbott told the Crossfit Journal.
In Australia, we boast some of the best female Crossfitters who relate to the criticism of their physic – “When I started Crossfit, I did start to notice a change in my body…” says Queenslander Tia-Clair Toomey (who placed second at the Crossfit Games 2016.)
“.. I couldn’t fit into the clothes that I really wanted to fit into, I was scared that people would think that I looked disgusting ..” Toomey says.
Tia-Clair Toomey

Tia-Clair Toomey


Kara Webb in action PHOTO: Jodi Dunks

Fellow Aussie and Crossfit veteran Kara Webb can squat 155kg, deadlift 165kg and yet in the early days she found “.. always something being said about my legs; ‘Why are your legs so big?’ ‘They’re like boys legs.'”
Thankfully, both women have too learnt to appreciate themselves as elite athletes,  “.. I think I found more value in myself when I started doing Crossfit,” Webb adds.
Just for the record ladies – we think you look awesome but are just as inspired by your passion and commitment to the emerging, elite sport.
Brittney Kleyn is a reporter for Nine News Queensland, and a keen Crossfitter.

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