In rhythmic gymnastics, those with long and incredibly thin legs are praised. The “ideal body image,” as many call it. A body that is envied, looked up to by so many gymnasts. A body that is deemed as “beautiful” by the community. But alas, a body that is an unrealistic and unhealthy image of what rhythmic gymnasts should aim to achieve.
So many gymnasts, in feeling pressure to achieve this image, risk both their mental and physical health. And unfortunately, the unspoken truth is that nearly all gymnasts, at one point or another, have suffered significantly from weight and body issues.
Why do we have to accept this reality?
80.9% of 800 rhythmic gymnasts surveyed worldwide said the “ideal body image” is overemphasized and overvalued.
We’re all tired. We’re all done. We all just want to be freed of this.
It’s time for all of us to change, to collectively strengthen each other to embrace ourselves as who we are, not who our community says we have to be.
It’s time for us to stop worrying about how we look and love the sport for what we can do.
And eventually, we can beat this “norm”. We can break this “ideal body image.” Eventually, we’ll do it, together.