Body Image Role Models of Olympic Proportions

With 31 World Cup victories under her belt, Vonn is already the greatest female skier in U.S. history. She's being marketed as the "Michael Phelps" of the Winter Games.

This is a cross-post over at You can view it here or after the jump.

Given the non-stop pre-Olympics coverage, you’d have to be pretty much living under a rock not to know that the 2010 Olympics kick off on Friday, February 12 in Vancouver.

But have you seen Fitsugar’s great spread on the American women of the 2010 Olympics?

It’s definitely worth taking a look (although I should add that I noticed there is absolutely no diversity represented among the women featured … ).

The women of the 2010 Winter Games are not only amazing athletes wholly dedicated 24/7 to their sport (which is enviable in and of itself) … but also (in my humble opinion ) I think these women are awesome body image role models for young women today.

Why? Because in a country where thinness is coveted and obesity runs rampant, these women are neither.

To me, these women are the picture of strength, physical fitness and health — three things you don’t see on display very often these days.

And while I have no desire to eat a ridiculously spartan diet (like these athletes need to do to remain in top shape) or work out for 8-10 hours a day (my hour a day at the gym is plenty, thankyouverymuch), I can’t help but admire their commitment to achieving their own level of physical prowess.

All I keep thinking of as I see these women in the media lately is wouldn’t it be amazing for young girls today to see more women like Gretchen Bleiler, Katie Uhlaender, Lindsey Vonn, etc. gracing the covers of magazines — and not just because the Olympics are coming?

Wouldn’t it be beneficial for girls today to see more of these women in the media — women who aren’t necessarily model-thin but look healthy and project body confidence and physical strength?

Wouldn’t it be awesome if our daughters and sisters admired women who aren’t seen out partying, popping prescription drugs and hooking up like today’s celebrities — but rather lacing up their skates, strapping on ski boots, and pumping iron?

As I’ve watched the pre-Olympic coverage on TV and around the internet, I couldn’t help but wonder, why aren’t more female athletes featured more often in the mainstream media? Because there have to be other women out there like me who find these women inspirational … right?

Whether they win big or come home empty-handed from Vancouver, the women of the Winter Games are an inspiration to me … body image role models of Olympic proportions. And I wish them the best of luck as they reach for the gold.

U.S.A.! U S.A.!

How about you? Do you admire the physiques of professional women athletes? Do you think they make good role models for today’s youth?


4 thoughts on “Body Image Role Models of Olympic Proportions

  1. I agree, that it is hard not to get caught up with the “thinness” of Hollywood. You pick up an US weekly or a PEOPLE magazine, and you see celebrities that are toothpick thin, or you see them talking about how they lost weight, going from a size 6 to a size 0/2. (Like a size 6 is a size that is so bad. lol) It’s hard for me to not start thinking, “wow, I really need to look like that.” I’m not sure if it’s true, but someone once told me that Hollywood makes up less than 10% percent of the population, but why is it that that’s all that we see?

  2. I love athletes as role models. They prioritize their ambitions over their bodies. They treat their bodies well as a means to achieving their goals. That is inspiring. Generally, in sports, the idea is that food is fuel and bodies are temples, to be treated well for optimal performance, injury prevention, etc. I love that outlook!

  3. This is SUCH a great point! I wish the beautiful women of the Olympics were more well known and featured more than just the few weeks surrounding the Olympics. They are ideal role models for women: working hard for their goals, staying healthy, and treating their bodies right. I wish this were valued more in our society.

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