Strong not skinny

Candice Swanepoel

Women used to strive to be skinny. Inspired by stick-like models and actresses, we used to chase the dream of having their thin thighs and flat stomachs, soon becoming exhausted from many kilometres of cardio.

A new trend is sweeping the fitness world. Fit, healthy role models are now who we aspire to emulate.

Healthy role models

Singer Beyoncé and the Kardashian reality clan were among the first women who were publicly celebrated for their thicker thighs and bigger bootys. They were photographed leaving the gym daily and eating healthy meals, while maintaining their curvy figures.

Singer Pink hit the headlines recently for standing up against online body criticism. “I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my healthy, voluptuous and crazy strong body is having some much deserved time off,” she wrote on Twitter after being criticised.

Bikini fear

We all fear criticism of our bodies. That is why we hesitate when invited to the beach, wouldn’t dream of wearing a miniskirt and would never post holiday photos online. But by exercising regularly, a strong, healthy body is in your reach.

Australian-based personal trainer Kayla Itsines is showing millions of women around the world how attainable that goal is. She’s created bikini body training guides packed with exercises which target arms, legs and abs. Followers of her plan, dubbed Kayla’s Army, lose weight, build muscle, become toned and most importantly, appear happy and confident.

South African-born supermodel Candice Swanepoel is showing the world it’s sexy to be curvy and healthy. She struts down the catwalk, proudly showing off the body she’s worked hard for. Videos are regularly posted online of her working out, showing other women how to achieve her toned physique.

Strong not skinny is not about body shame or unattainable goals. It’s about being the best possible version of yourself.


Image credit: By Photobra, Adam Bielawski (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons