So women in sports usually get the short end of the stick, even though more and more women are over performing men (i.e. USA Soccer, Danica Patrick). Which is why ESPN has completely killed it as they high lighted some of the worlds greatest athletes IN THE NUDE!
This probably is not a surprise for you. For the past few years ESPN's body issue has been photographing men and women (to see the whole collection click here) in the nude to show that not all bodies are the same, yet all bodies are strong and all bodies should be celebrated.
And that might just be the most important, large media, body positive campaign yet!
Because really, there is a difference between being fit and being skinny and its about time we all realize this!
Amanda Bingson is an Olympic Hammer thrower who is totally at ease with her body! I love this picture the most because as a Rugby player I always was a stocky girl, but thats what gave me so much strength! Just because I am not a stick do not mean I am not fit.
Ali Krieger is a two World Cup Vet who looks like she can beat the shit out of anyone. But over all the toned muscle, she loves make up and feeling amazing! It's wonderful to see women who are strong yet still in touch with their feminine side!
Aly Raisman is a Gold Winning Gymnast and she is certainly winning my heart. Gone are the days where tone but no muscle is the only way to be. Her ability to vault her body weight and contort into crazy flips comes straight from her rock hard body. And it is awesome!
This picture of 3 time Olympic Gold winning Kerri Walsh is picture perfect! The beach volley ball player insisted on posing with her flawless baby bump before showing off her new mom bod (adorable baby thankfully included). It's wonderful to see a female athlete embracing motherhood and taking the changing of her body with pride!! Gaining baby weight is nothing to be ashamed of, just like losing it fast or slow is nothing to be critiqued.
21 year old winner of the Scottish Open Carly Booth shows that slim does not mean weak as she smacks that ball way further then most can even dream of.
Courtney Force posed (for a cover no less) to prove to everyone above the Mason Dixon line that Nascar is a sport; and that keeping up with the men in 10,000 horse power cars requires some serious strength. Don't like the tiny body confuse you!
Mixed Martial Artist Ronda Rousey is JACKED and loves it! Who cares if perspective lovers are put off by her rock hard abs and wish she had a bit of a softer side, they aren't bad ass enough for her anyway! P.S. I love the tat.
To be even more inspired to love your body, check out Oksana Masters, a Paralympic rower from Ukraine who uses micro chips in the legs she uses. She loves her body and everything it has been able to overcome and accomplish.
As you can see from these brave women stripping naked for the whole world, strength does not come in a specific size. Strength comes from within; from passion, and effort, and the constant battle to do better.