Where Are Real, Athletic Bodies Represented?

Credit: Nina Matsumoto

Yesterday’s post about the implications of the body images represented on Pinterest created a healthy discussion on the Words to Sweat by Facebook page.

In the discussion thread, Marci Warhaft-Nadler of Fit vs. Fiction talked about how it would be “awesome if fitness advocates would show some realistic variations of athletic bodies.”

So I’m going to start by sharing a wonderful post from comic artist Nina Matsumoto. In it, she not only provides a reference of athletic body diversity for artists but also talks about how she, as an artist, would fall into a pattern of drawing the same athletic body type.

Make sure to click to enlarge each the images and read through the captions. Each caption details the name, height, and weight of the professional/Olympic athlete.

While an elite athlete’s physique still isn’t what the every day person is typically able to obtain, as you look through these pictures I hope the diversity of size, structure, and shape will be not only be inspiring, but also remind you that what we see in these images is true in our own lives.

Beauty and health and strength cannot be captured in just a handful of images or a handful of words.  It is time to recognize and celebrate the body diversity that exists in the world around us and do our best to represent it and create a completely new conversation.

Where else have you found images that you feel better represent the diversity of body types? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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