Speaker Articles

The Bottom Line: It’s Okay to Be Fierce and Feminine

Olivia RotenbergBy Olivia Rotenberg, Assistant Manager of Corporate Communication, Reebok

When I was on the varsity team at college, “hockey butt,” the result from hours of grueling on- and off-ice drills, was one of the many things that my teammates and I loved to hate. Our butts and thighs strained the seams of our skinny jeans and made us curse at the mirror as we struggled to buy pants that would fit. We complained to each other plenty, but inside, we all secretly loved it. 

That big butt made us strong and fast and fierce.

The concept of traditional female beauty is beginning to show real cracks. Big butts are celebrated in the media now and silicone butt injections are a thing; more commonly, women aren’t bemoaning every lump, bump and bulge anymore. We’re bonding together to celebrate the beauty of what our bodies can do more than how they look.

Shape of Things to Come

One way we’re doing this is through high-intensity fitness regimens. I started doing CrossFit as a Reebok employee, and I’ve seen this mental shift in myself and in so many of my female colleagues.

Each day at the Box, we sweat alongside our male counterparts, doing the same workout. The coaches don’t doubt us for our small statures or shaved legs. We aren’t shoved into a corner and given three-pound pink weights so that we don’t “bulk up.” We are challenged to push ourselves, and experience the satisfaction, pride and confidence that come with reaching our goals.

In and Out of the Gym

What’s more, through our sweat and effort, we gain respect for our own bodies and for the women around us. Our male colleagues are just as supportive, and this goes beyond the CrossFit Box. It makes a difference in how we work and interact with one another in the office.

After all, if we can do hand-stand pushups just as well as any man in the company, who says we can’t hold our own on stage next to top executives? That’s empowering.

So all I can say is embrace your butt, your body, your badass, complex self. To paraphrase Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, a journalist who spent two years with an all-female special ops team, you can be tough as nails and paint your nails, love CrossFit and cross-stitch, be fierce and feminine.

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