Women of all ages, sizes, races and abilities can be strong, fit and unbelievably inspirational. But we never get to see them. Adverts, social media and TV shows teach us again and again that women have to look a certain way in order to be fit. The only women who get to be strong, healthy and love their bodies are size 6 Instagram models, clad head-to-toe in lycra with intimidating abs and an inexplicable thigh gap. This is presented to us as the ideal female form, and anything that doesn’t fit that prescriptive mould is wrong, even shameful . . .
Stong Women Series - Metro
A huge study by Sport England found that 75% of women say fear of judgement puts them off being active. And 40% of women over the age of 16 aren’t meeting the recommended levels of weekly fitness. So it’s more important than ever for women to reclaim the narrative and celebrate their inner strength. Regardless of what they look like. This series aims to redefine what it means to be a strong woman. We will meet some of the incredible ladies who are challenging accepted norms every single day. Matilda Egere-Cooper launched her own fitness community, Fly Girl Collective, but she says there isn’t nearly enough BAME representation in the world of running.
Matilda Egere-Cooper - tells us about her relationship with fitness:
"I was one of those kids who kind of looked forward to P.E lessons, but my relationship with fitness really developed when I was at university, and a few stones heavier.
I tried going to the gym but I quickly realised that on a meagre income I had to find a cheaper way to keep fit. Running seemed like a no-brainer because all I needed was a pair of trainers and the willpower to get outside – plus I had loved sprinting at school. I ended up doing the odd 10k with friends over the years, but in 2011 another friend introduced me to the running community Run Dem Crew, and it became the place where I discovered my love for long distance running and community. I haven’t looked back since and I now lead my own community Fly Girl Collective, which I created to inspire BAME women to pursue a fitness lifestyle. Everyone is on their own journey, which is why everyone’s relationship with fitness will naturally be different. How about your relationship with your body?