Google "girl at gym" and instead of finding images of strong women, working out and achieving their goals showing off their bodies that they have spent hours in the gym sculpting in a modest way, you will find nothing but over sexualized and honestly quite pornographic pictures of females at the gym. They'll be in scantily clad clothes, with their skin oiled and bent over. And, better yet, pictures of men at the gym bent over females or quite clearly 'checking them out.'
Here are some of my favorites.
This one came from a website with a thread entitled 'Post a better hot gym girl than this.' Classy. First off, what gym are you at that you post a picture like this? Second, why pay for a gym membership so that you can post this type of pornographic content? And to the people who posted more picture on that thread (all of which are disgusting) you too, are disgusting.
This next picture came from an article titled "How to Talk to Women at the Gym." The answer is "don't." Please don't come to the gym for the sole purpose of hitting on girls at the squat bar. If your goal is to pick up women, you're at the wrong kind of bar.
Ah, yes. This is definitely my go — to outfits for the gym, as I'm sure it is for many other girls...
Furthermore, when you search for "girls at the gym," Google gives you that list of words at the top to help narrow your search. Do any of them help you narrow your search to help you find images of regular girls working out, not nearly naked? The answer is a hard no. The 'suggestions' Google gives include "short shorts" "yoga pants" "bra" "tights" "knickers" "locker room" (because all girls who go to the gym clearly spend all that money so that they can walk around half dressed in the locker room with other girls) and my favorite "shower" — and yes, it's exactly what you think it is.
Now you can make the argument that all or some of these pictures are staged or even photoshopped. But that isn't the point. I have been an avid gym-goer and lifter for the past four years now. I am fully dressed, I have absolutely zero interest in being 'hit on' and the only reason I go the gym is for myself. I go to get stronger, to feel good about myself and there's nothing I love more than seeing progress and the difference I've made in my body. It's hard to build the confidence to go to the gym, and stand in the weight section — something that has been stereotyped as 'for men only.' The last thing any female needs is to feel like the gym isn't for her, or that she's only there to entertain the men.
Any young girl, or girl of any age really that becomes inspired to start going to the gym and sees these type of pictures isn't going to feel empowered or inspired. She's going to feel like a piece of meat. The over-sexualization of female lifters and gym-goers needs to stop. It's time to start inspiring women to maximize their potential, feel strong and powerful and confident both in their bodies and in the gym. Believe it or not, women don't go to the gym hoping they'll be hit on. We're there to workout. To make progress, to feel better and live a healthy lifestyle. So to all the men and to the media that think this is how women act/look in the gym and that we just flit around hoping to be hit on, bye. Don't come near us while we're working out, that's not what any of us are there for, and we could probably kick your a** anyway.
P.S. It took me a long time to find an appropriate picture to put as the header of this article, and it's a picture of Sarah Bowmar who is an exceptional athlete and female role model.