As an entire, the web, and extra particularly social media, have introduced loads of good to strength sports activities. On a day by day foundation, now we have the provision of a number of great-minded coaches, athletes, and media retailers at our fingertips. Yet, with each good factor in life, there’s all the time an opportunity of some dangerous, and on this case, that comes within the type of bullying.
We’ve written about women in powerlifting receiving weird comments before, however not a lot bullying. In one in every of weightlifter Alyssa Ritchey’s newest Instagram posts, she highlights a bullying-focused remark with an open letter. The letter brings loads of good factors to mild, and it was very nicely acquired. To study extra about her motivation to jot down this explicit letter and what others can do to fight bullying, I reached out.
Thanks and shout out to Morning Chalk Up for initially highlighting this submit.
Have you ever gotten adverse feedback earlier than this event? What made you wish to reply to this explicit remark as regards to bullying?
Richey: I hardly ever get a remark reminiscent of this one, a number of adverse ones right here and there, however nothing loopy. I needed to reply with kindness. If I have been to reply again saying one thing hateful, then it solely fuels the fireplace. Besides, two wrongs don’t make a proper. I needed to be an instance. It took me about 5-minutes to jot down that letter. I did it in-between units whereas I used to be lifting. This was about the identical time my sister despatched me the display shot of the remark made by the person.
I used to be bullied in highschool my junior and senior yr, and fairly frankly, I’m over it.
I’m not the kind of girl to sit down round and let somebody be imply. Standing up for myself is necessary. I need individuals to know this isn’t okay. I needed to be a voice for all the ladies/males that get bullied to indicate them it’s OKAY to face up for your self, however do it with the love in your coronary heart. We by no means know what a person goes by way of in the mean time so regardless of how terrible their phrases are in the direction of us. Try a special method & kill them with type phrases & love from the guts. They would possibly want that greater than you understand.
In your opinion, do you see extra adverse feedback on girls’s lifting movies/photographs in comparison with males’s? If so, why do you assume that is? And why do you assume they exist in any respect?
Ritchey: I don’t search for the adverse feedback. I hear a few of my buddies speak in regards to the imply or impolite feedback they obtain on social media and even within the public eye. I don’t assume our society is totally okay with girls being muscular, simply but. However, I do assume there are numerous extra individuals in our era that settle for it now & assume its lovely. It’s all in how we, ourselves understand the feedback, appears, & gestures.
I feel individuals, outdoors of the fitness world, stare and make feedback as a result of they don’t seem to be used to seeing girls with muscle tissue. I feel most of its harmless until the remark is totally absurd and impolite. I had a girl within the farmer’s market come as much as me and say “I’m sorry I don’t mean anything bad, but your arms are incredibly beautiful and so muscular. I love them”. I smiled & stated thanks. But all I might take into consideration is why did she make an apology! There is not any cause. I really like my biceps. Go AHEAD, inform me their jacked, ripped, big, muscular as a result of they’re attractive to me. They are my work horses.
When I stroll right into a grocery retailer in my spandex or within the airport with a lower off tee, I get appears. However, I do know, I look good. So I assume that they have to assume I look fabulous to (laughs). If you proceed to let the negativity in, then its going to harm you. If you actually love every little thing about YOUR LOOK, YOUR BODY, then no foolish remark, bizarre look, or gesture will harm you.
I’m undecided why this negativity exists. But us muscular girls are on our option to altering the societal norms of the world. There will probably be extra of us sooner or later — you’ll see!
Do you have got any tips for feminine [and male] athletes who could obtain adverse feedback on their posts? How do you see them & what do you remind your self of?
Ritchey: Don’t ever cease being who you’re simply because somebody doesn’t approve. Be you and all the time do you. You won’t ever expertise life to its fullest if you’re all the time worrying what individuals assume. It’s empowering and delightful to really feel sturdy, however it’s much more empowering to have the ability to use your strengths to enhance your life. If you’re keen on lifting heavy weight above your head, then maintain doing it. Don’t ever cease for anybody.
I don’t remind myself of something as a result of I really don’t care what individuals assume. Growing up as a powerful muscular younger woman from 12-17 yr previous, I used to be all the time identified for having massive quads and biceps. I believed it was completely regular and delightful. I felt highly effective in my little muscular outlined physique. I cherished my physique. I wasn’t anxious about the way in which I seemed. It was extra about the way in which I carried out for my sport on the time. I used to be happiest after I was successful. I used to be an athlete. I didn’t care a few sure physique sort. I simply needed to crush my competitors.
What recommendation would you give to all social media customers who obtain adverse suggestions on their posts? Do you have got any concepts how we modify the adverse remark mindsets?
Ritchey: Its all the time going to be there. The solely manner it should ever change is that if we deal with it within the acceptable method. And should you don’t really feel like coping with it, then flip off your feedback on Instagram that’s what T-Swift does!
Do you have got any takeaway messages (outdoors of your submit) for bullies who put others down behind their screens?
Think earlier than you sort. Be extra type. Being hateful doesn’t clear up something & if you will say one thing hurtful, simply don’t. Keep it to your self. You can actually harm somebody by a small remark that you simply would possibly assume is innocent. As the previous saying goes, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Feature photos from @alyssaritchey1 Instagram web page, and [right] picture taken by @auya.co Instagram web page.