Dana Linn Bailey is one of my favorite bodybuilders. Along with being a well-known and winning International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) physique pro, she was also an athlete. She was involved with soccer, basketball, field hockey, track, softball, and swimming. She's tough, strong, and sets a great example for those who may also be struggling with online bullying.
Women who are in bodybuilding, or sports where their body may increase muscularity face a ton of tough scrutiny. I could say that for myself, when had a more muscular body, people felt the need to comment on my body, and men would often say, "you looked better without muscles." Luckily, I felt at my best with my muscular body and I learned to suffocate the comments. Dana is in the public eye, so I can only imagine how hurtful and overwhelming the negative criticism on her body may be for her.
She talks about how having a support system, which includes her husband, is really what helped her with appreciating her body. She struggled with her image and even contemplated on surgery, like breast implants, to achieve a more feminine look. But something clicked for her:
"I can't even name what switched in my head. But something switched. And I just became completely comfortable with every aspect with how I looked...I just loved my body," Dana chokes back on tears. "And once you get that feeling, it's really powerful."
It's so important to remember that someone's body is not ours to judge. In addition to that, no matter how muscular, large, or thin -- cyber bullying is never okay. I think that Dana is such a beautiful person and it's encouraging to see her talk about her emotional strength and her story on body image.