Is Strong the New Skinny?

Me and Carrie SINS

UPDATE: THANK YOU, EVERYONE! Thank you to everyone who has RT’ed or Facebooked or whatever’ed this post. I am absolutely HUMBLED by the response! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Please connect with me if you’d like, wherever you’d like! Adam

Have body images changed that much for women recently? And does it have anything to do with the CrossFit movement and the changes that are going on in fitness? I was pretty inspired recently by this Ice Chamber video my friend Bob Garon posted:

Women kicking ass with kettlebells. Now that’s cool. And those are heavy ‘bells too! Purple is 20kg, Green is 24kg and Yellow is 16kg. No joke…

My challenge to women and the media

I say, MAKE strong the new skinny. Never mind what the status quo is. FUCK THE STATUS QUO! I say, to use Seth Godin’s term, be The Purple Cow. Now, I know women and the term “cow” shouldn’t really be used together, so before I get pummeled I’ll explain. A “Purple Cow” is something remarkable. In a world with more and more advertising “noise” and where there’s someone already filling virtually every need and every niche, a Purple Cow is something that stands out. A brown cow is boring, but a Purple Cow is REMARKABLE.

If you’re a muscular woman, go after mainstream exposure. Let’s take muscular women out of the bodybuilding subculture and put them in the mainstream.

And if you’re a “regular girl” who wants to model, never mind if you’re not “thin” enough. Build the body YOU WANT and shop your portfolio around until someone wants to take a chance on someone who doesn’t look like everyone else. Better yet, read “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuck and fuck the “shop your portfolio around” part. Build your own following online and let the agencies COME TO YOU.

Think it can’t happen? Watch Gary rant and rave in this video and THEN tell me you have no chance of getting the exposure you want or changing what’s considered attractive or acceptable in the mainstream…

What Gary is saying – in between swearing and getting excited – is that we don’t need to deal with gatekeepers anymore. Social media changed all that. Gary’s message: Do what you love, build a following online – through tons of hard work – and let your online presence take you where you want to go. You have the power because of social media now. All it takes is desire and hard work.

I wanna see a girl with some muscles in the Victoria’s Secret catalog in the next few years. What do YOU think? If you agree, pass this blog post around and get busy!



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About Adam

Adam Farrah has been studying and experimenting with Paleo approaches to health, eating, living and moving since 2005. Connect with Adam on Google+


  1. Hey Adam that’s a great quick write up on being strong and skinny. I’m about to do the same, but you beat me to the punch. LOL

    Love the pics too brother! :)


  2. Thanks, Bob! You supplied the Ice Chamber vid!


  3. I LOVE this Adam!! I’d much rather be strong than skinny! We’re all going to be much better off later in life being functionally strong, fit and healthy, than worrying about our size 2 jeans. Amen!!

    • Glad you liked it, Linda! I had a few of my female friends in mind when I wrote it – particularly a friend who wants to be a model/actress and loves being strong but worries about getting too muscular and not fitting the stereotype. I’m 100% serious about making your own brand around who you are and the body YOU want!

  4. Awesome Adam! Skinny is nasty. Who wants to look like that praying mantis-Angelina? Aside from her boobs and lips, she’s skin and bone. Blah. Strong is sexy, healthy, beautiful. I hope more guys, and women, learn to love what nature intended, and that is not starvation!

  5. Peter Poletti says:

    I hope the answer to the question is a resounding YES.

    I am so sick of hearing the admonition that women shouldn’t lift heavy because it will make them big and bulky. It ranks right up there with “eating fat will make you fat” as a myth that deserves to be exposed and ridiculed by everyone with an ounce of intelligence.

  6. LOVE THIS!!!

    I just had a conversation with a coworker yesterday about how strong and confident I feel when I lift weights, and she went on to rave about her Tracy Anderson workout that helps her get toned (read: anorexic-looking.)

    My coworker (40 years old or so) looks like an undernourished 12 year old boy, by the way. SICKLY and PALE. She eats popcorn and lean cuisines. Diet lean cuisines.

    Where can we get that shirt? It’s perfect! (well, her nice rack helps make it look perfect!)

  7. What a great slogan – this has to be the best message yet , with great potential to actually get through to people. It has ‘coolness’ Strong is the new skinny!

  8. Where can I get that tank?

  9. Glad to see more support for strong women. Thanks for posting!

  10. How refreshing to first find this photo on google, and then follow it to your link. It’s empowering what you are saying, I’ve always been a strong girl! I’d love to download the amazing song that is behind the Kettleball video… who is singing that?

  11. This is brilliant. I feel so much more at home here. I love weights and muscle and feeling strong, beating my personal bests and helping others do the same. Getting strong in the gym helps outside in life immensely. Keep up the great work.

  12. I LOVE this- thank you! I was an athlete in high school and was always “the big girl” because I was muscular. But for a teenager, that label can be distructive. I struggled with my weight through college but after working with a trainer and learning to look at myself positively and not through other idiot people’s comments, I am strong and healthy. I have 3 kids, two of them twins and I am in the best shape of my life. Strong IS the new skinny!!!

  13. This is great!! Too many women(and I see it everyday) are being pressured into looking like what the women on the billboards or mags look like!! No bueno!! Lets’ embrace the way God made us and just make choices to live a healthier and more active lifestyle…I’m a Zumba instructor and I am so thrilled that through Zumba my ladies and gents have accepted their bodies and are comfortable with themselves!!! You don’t have to be a size 2 be beautiful!!!

  14. Screw goal weight! Most of my life I wore size 3 jeans and was told how lucky I was to be thin. I am a 61 year old woman who has been a runner and lifted weights (heavier than some of the teenage boys next to me at the gym), I almost finished a 200 hour program to teach yoga. In my forties I gained some weight. I was so tired of trying to be the toothpick with boobs (my own) I used to be. I am strong and very healthy. My doctor wishes all his patients were like me and since I embraced the STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY way of thinking I am happy. I will no longer obsess about a few pounds. My body looks better now than it ever has. Grandma feels good about her guns and her round, firm, non sagging, bigger than it used to be backside! It has nothing to do with the opposite sex. It’s because it just plain feels good to walk around in a strong, healthy body!


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