A few days ago, we posted an image on Instagram that shows CrossFit Games athlete (and new DC Brawler) Alexandra LaChance in all her quad-rippling glory:
Look closely, and you’ll notice LaChance is wearing one of Power Athlete’s Fuck Thigh Gaps shirts, which are admittedly pretty great. It’s the byproduct of Power Athlete HQ’s quest to bring attention to prioritizing “go muscles” over “show muscles,” and the belief that the body of an athlete — resultant from that athlete’s training and pursuit of excellence, not necessarily because of a particular, societal aesthetic goal — is worth celebrating.
Obviously, we agree, and Power Athlete asked us to help spread the word on their original “Fuck Thigh Gaps” post here. (Give it a read.)
Like most of what Power Athlete puts out, it’s real, a bit raw, and direct. But read their post and dig a little closer; Power Athlete isn’t just responding to the skinny standard of beauty by saying, “Nah, bro, we like putting some mass on dat ass.” There’s actually more to it, and their post effectively addresses bodies and performance on a spectrum.
In the world of strength sports, there’s been a ton of forward progress on acceptance of different body types, but maybe not as much acceptance of different body types as functional. If you follow strength sports, you know variation is significant. Individual bodies have unique physiology, and that will mean different adaptations to the stress and resultant compensation/physical growth. What looks effective doesn’t necessarily translate to what is effective.
It’s a bit like watching some of the middle (heck, any) weight classes at an international weightlifting competition. Some lifters have big, thick, bodybuilder Klokov arms; some look like they might struggle to do a pull-up. But then they pull their bodies around your dream deadlift max, and all perceptions about a form/function connection go out the window.
The “Fuck Thigh Gaps” movement will not solve body shaming, nor will it change some societal “norms” that could lead people down unhealthy paths. But we like that Power Athlete isn’t responding to skinny model standards by simply responding that they like big butts. Bodies exist on a spectrum, and one person’s THICK may still get out lifted by another person’s THIN.
There are a lot of different ways to move heavy things, and a lot of different bodies that can do them.