These days, never before have we seen so many women starting to embrace their strength. For so long, men have dominated the athletic scene and women have been pushed to do the less strenuous sports or other activities that are deemed more feminine. Enter CrossFit–a sport that continues to grow in popularity and women have proven themselves to be a worthy competitor in the field. We caught up with Kirsteen Thain as she talks about being an athlete, being a strong female personality and embracing her love for the sport.
What are your experiences on a difference in attitude to women with an athletic female physique?
Usually, women love the way I look. They will come up to me randomly and ask me how I got my arms, how I exercise, or, how I got so muscular. This happens much more in Dubai than it did in Hong Kong. It’s men, usually Asian or French men, who didn’t like how I looked. They commented that I looked like a man. In fact, a French guy literally said to me, “Kirsteen, I care about you. So I want you to know, this thing you’re doing with your body – it’s not good. Your stomach, it’s all weird (he was talking about my abs). You are turning into a dude. And I’m just telling you, you look better as a woman”. Typically, people are more positive about my body the further west I go. People in Hong Kong are generally a little overwhelmed by a chick with some muscle. In Dubai and the States, people are much more positive about it. Female athletes – all you need to do is look at Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. Who earns more money? But who has won (by an overwhelming amount) more grand slams? There is an emphasis on good looking chicks being more important or likeable, than a chick who actually has phenomenal talent. It’s disgusting.
What were your family and friends opinions?
My Chinese mum said I was turning into a man, and I looked disgusting. She said I looked swollen and deformed. After a girl did a blog post on my opinions on the female athletic physique, she came back to me and said that she was proud of me. My dad doesn’t care as long as I’m happy. A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘Can i touch you? Wow, you’re so hard!’
How much do their opinions or other opinions matter to you, and did this change?
Their opinions made me want to work out even harder, and get even bigger, just to get them to fuck off. I knew that I wasn’t going to stop crossfit, so I just had to accept the changes with my body. In time, I grew to love the changes in my body. I’ve never been more body confident as now, and I no longer fit the anorexic model image of beauty that I once had.
Photos from Kirsteen Thain
Follow Kirsteen on instagram: @kirsteenthain