Look: athletes come in all different shapes. You can pretty much see this when you watch female athletes in any athletic event. You certainly see this if you participate on any team. Some female athletes are short, some are tall, some are larger than size two. Most. Most are larger than a size two, actually. In case you are confused about what women with athletic bodies look like, they look like this:
All of these women (Venus Williams, Brigit Prinz, a female football player in Dallas, Paula Radcliffe) are athletes. I mean that insofar as they are all involved in athletic endeavors. They could – and should – all be referred to as “athletic” in their build. Again, you’ll notice they all have different body types. However, it’s only marathon runner Paula Radcliffe who meets the definition of “athletic” in the way it has evolved to mean “slim and small busted” in every lady mag. Do you want to see who magazines refer to as “athletic?” Okay, this is someone who consistently gets referred to as athletic:
This is Karlie Kloss. She is a 19 year old supermodel with an”athletic” body. Now, it’s possible that Karlie Kloss is spending all her time out playing soccer – she legitimately does have a background in dance! – and she may very well be athletic. However, it seems crazy to think that she’s cited as having a more “athletic” build than a female football player.
And this is a problem, because it seems to imply that the only way you have a healthy, athletic lifestyle is if it leaves you looking like a 19 year old supermodel. Which is obviously insane. If what magazines mean is “someone is slim, small busted and has lean muscle mass” then perhaps the proper description is “model-y” not “athletic.” Let’s not pretend that if you’re a football player who does not look like Karlie Kloss you are somehow doing something wrong. You’re not. Athletic is just a ridiculous descriptor.