When you’re a gold-winning Olympic gymnast, your body is your armoury.
Years of gruelling drills mean your muscles are primed to respond exactly as you want them to, each ligament ready to support a series of deftly executed back flips, half twists and tumbles.
So, it’s unsurprising that US champion Alexandra “Aly” Raisman did not take kindly to a random stranger criticising her arms during an encounter at airport security this week.
Raisman, 23, vented her frustration over the incident in a series of on-point tweets:
It’s not the first time Raisman, who competed at both London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, has spoken out on the issue of body shaming.
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In November, she shared a post on Instagram addressed to the boys at her school who used to mock her muscly arms as “weird and gross”:
In a world where women are routinely judged for their physique, behaviour and even whether they look “happy” or not, we could all do with a dose of Raisman’s fighting spirit.
As the gymnast articulates so eloquently, we need to replace body-shaming with respect and appreciation.
And strength, especially when it comes to women, should get the kudos it deserves. After all, it’s not everyone who can make their bodies do this:
Photos: Rex Features