Who says?

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Do you know the Selena Gomez song, “Who says you’re not pretty. Who says you’re not beautiful, who says?” I love this song, and I was thinking about it when I decided to post these images. I thought some people might judge these photographs? As I see it, they are art that my mom has developed.

My mom is a photographer, and I’ve been doing photo shoots my entire life. This time it was a little different because I was in my sports bra. I think this was the first time I’ve felt comfortable in my sports bra knowing these pictures were going to be shown to other people. I can’t explain why I’ve never felt comfortable in my leotard or sports bra? They are the just uniforms. 

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As a teen, I never thought I was skinny enough. As an adult, I could never find that perfect outfit that made me look good enough. Why was I so critical of myself? Why did I care so much about what others thought? As long as I am happy with myself then who cares, right? 

Maybe that was the issue? I wasn’t happy with myself for all those years. It’s taken me a long time to accept myself and to accept my body. I don’t think I am alone here. I imagine a number of women have found it to be a long road. This road began around puberty.

I empathize with the youth of today who are concerned what others think of them. At some point in our lives, most of us have worried about whether or not we will be accepted. Will they think I am nice, smart, pretty, etc? Not only do we worry what others will think, but also many of us are critical of ourselves. 

I feel we try to uphold this image that society expects of us. This image is all over the television, magazines, and the web. The image is of a sexy, skinny, pretty, “perfect” woman. We start comparing ourselves to her. We compare ourselves to something that is unrealistic. Come on, you’ve all done it in one way or another. Have you looked in the mirror and wished your thighs were a little smaller, your butt a little rounder, or your stomach a little flatter? Join the club!! 

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Some of you may think that I am beautiful, some of you think I am cute, and some think that I am not attractive at all.  Some of you may love my body, some may think I am too muscular, and some may pick apart the little things that are wrong with me. I used to care so much about your opinions. I really did. I cared to a fault. 

I would have cried when I read that someone thought my legs were too big. A few of the comments I received on my back squat PR would have fed my insecurities. They would have crushed the confidence I gained from performing that squat. What would have devastated me a few years ago I shrug off today.

Now, I choose to care about and put my energy toward the things I can control. I can’t control what others find attractive. The old saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is so true. What one person finds attractive another doesn’t. If I love myself, then I’m happy. I have accepted that my thighs aren’t ever going to be “skinny”. I’m okay with my arms being muscular. And, I know that I’ll never look like Pamela Anderson.

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I realized, most importantly, I have to be happy with who I am. It’s unhealthy to compare myself to anybody else. It’s absurd to let the mass media dictate who is pretty, we are all beautiful. We are all gorgeous in someone’s eyes. Comparing yourself to airbrushed models will just make you crazy! They are airbrushed!! The only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. If there is something you don’t like about your body, work hard to change it. Eventually, when you accept who you are, you will look into the mirror and be content. And, you will be singing in your head, “Who says….”

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58 thoughts on “Who says?

  1. Heidi Strout says:

    This is so true..everything youve said. I can relate in so many ways. Ive always struggled with my weight. And when people would say “your so beautiful..u dont need to lose weight! “. It would just go in one ear and out the other. Its still a daily struggle even 15 years later. Ive tried all the diets looking for that quick fix but really need to do just what it takes to make my body healthy. And I have every excuse in the book why i dont have time to excercise…im sure im not alone here. But only i can change this! So thank u for posting this…

    you
    for posting this alicia….i now know

    • Alicia says:

      Heidi- Thank you for sharing! I’d definitely be among one of those people that would tell you how beautiful you are. I’ve thought that since we were kids! I even remember all the admirers you had.
      I do not think you are alone in having difficultly finding time to exercise whether it’s an excuse or not. We all have so much going on!! I feel like setting aside 30 minutes to an hour, 3 times a week is a start. Try to schedule it into your busy life. It’s SO hard!! But, you are worth it.

    • Alicia, These pics simply show how amazing and different each athletic can be. I had the chance to see you while covering the Crossfit games and being in the media and celebrity party business, I must say there are few people who stand out in the crowd as a true athletic and you for sure are one. Hope we can have you as a guest at one of our upcoming events for your hard work and dedication.

  2. sarah mccurley says:

    Alicia, these are gorgeous photos of a gorgeous girl — inside and out. Your blog post was so honest, so real, so brave! I’m SO happy for you that you have found peace with this! LOVE YOU!!!

  3. Christine says:

    Great post! It should be required reading in all middle schools…so many young girls aspire to look like the impossible pictures they look at in magazines. Health is not about being skinny…it is about being strong, inside and out!

  4. Maureen says:

    Alicia, YOU are an amazing young lady, beautiful inside and out!

  5. Jason Goulemas says:

    Strong is the new skinny!

  6. DH says:

    I say you look great. Keep it up, Ms Gomes!

  7. Vin McCauley says:

    Great article Alicia!

  8. Dena Cutulle says:

    Alicia,

    I saw you for the first time last Tuesday at my on-ramp workout and I thought to myself what a gorgeous girl and I hope my body can look lke hers someday!!! I was so intimidated to come to Crossfit and because of you, now I only want to better myself!!!!! I’ve always been insecure (still am) and it’s nice to know that girls as beautiful as you are sometimes get insecure too!!

    Dena

  9. Daigle says:

    I’ve always thought you were gorgeous Alicia! Great post!

  10. Kendra says:

    Awesome job Alicia! I loved reading this after so many convos on these lines! You are beautiful from the inside out and so many girls ae blessed to have you share this message with them. Pcitures ame out awesome. Love K

  11. Lorraine OBRIEN says:

    This is so true, you are beautiful!

  12. Alison says:

    Alicia, You have said it so perfectly! Thank you for reminding me what is important. I am going to share this with my 12 year old daughter too. Carry on…you are beautiful, inside and out…

  13. Oh, but you ARE pretty. Very beautiful actually, and strong.

  14. mylove says:

    What a great post! I think you are beautiful and even more so for sharing your insecurities with us!

  15. Kurt says:

    It doesn’t matter what the world thinks. The reality is we live in a fickle society and the thoughts and opinions of beauty change daily. Be proud of what you have done. Be proud of the strength and determination that you have to accomplish your goals. Rest assured that there is at least one person in this world who you have changed the life of and that is truly special, just like you!!!

  16. Laura says:

    I think you look amazing and I hope to have a body like yours one day soon!! Keep up the good work!!!!! :-DD

  17. Tom says:

    Great post. Sorry it took you so long to come to realize it. I hope it helps others in not caring too much about opinions they can’t control.

  18. Nils says:

    From complete stranger I can only say: You look fantastic; strong, healthy and beautiful

  19. Phil says:

    I am sharing this with all the special women in my life. My wife, 3 daughters & anyone else who cares to read it. You might be amazed that this article has caused me to rethink a lot of things, as much of what you said actually applies to men as well. For so long, I have not been able to look myself in the mirror, thanks for a wonderful article!

  20. Lead on my friend! Lead on!

  21. Great post, I agree totally. Even as a guy I feel some of the pressure too. Thanks for the reminder on what to focus on and not let other people’s ideas of beauty bring you down.

  22. Byron says:

    A friend of mine shared a link to this article, and I’m glad she did. It’s refreshing to hear a young lady who can learn to love herself and appreciate her own self image rather than be swayed by what others are saying. I’m a guy, but my dad raised me to treat women with respect. And it has always bugged me when I hear other men say and do things that put even more pressure on young girls to be “prettier” or “skinnier” or whatever. Now I’m older, married, and have two beautiful little girls, and one more girl on the way. I hope they can grow up to be positive like you are. Society’s image of beauty is so flawed, vain, and negative. And unfortunately so many people tie that image to a woman’s Worth. Every woman is something special. You’re all unique. You’re all lovely. You’re all a great gift to this world. More men need to know that… and every woman should feel that. Thanks again for your article.

  23. Alex says:

    Well, as a male, I can say that you are a very attractive and beautiful woman.

  24. Cherie says:

    As a mum of 3 with 2 teenage daughters, I would be proud to have you in their magazines they read, you are such an inspiration and a perfect role model.

    Your all woman, not starving yourself and trying to be like an image that dose not exist and has been airbrushed, you are just you, you must make your family proud.

    Thank you for posting this, my 7 year old asks if she is fat, society has a lot to answer for, we dont even have terrestrial tv in our home due to adverts and how they portray the female body.

    When strong females like yourself have the courage and determination to get where you are, that my friend is inspiration that needs to be shared, there is no cost, there is only the value of sharing.

    Thank you, I second the man above, yes you are a very attractive beautiful woman. Who should be a role model for many for years to come. xx

  25. They say that beauty is skin deep. But I prefer my own definition. “Beauty is a matter of depth.” You can be gorgeous on the outside and be ugly in the mind, or spirit, etc. I have the feeling that you have a beauty so deep that it covers body, mind, soul, and spirit. It’s true that I’m only one guy. But I stand by what I say, and It matters not to me what the negative opinions of others are. I’m feeling you are the same way……Hey! I do believe I just discovered more depth to your beauty. Stay cool, stay strong, and keep the faith. 😉

  26. LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing…I’ve written a lot about this in the past too– especially the thighs bit ;). For me, thinking about how strong I’ve become and how my big thighs allow me to do all of the things I love ( like squatting etc) helps me get through the tougher days…when my jeans are a little snug, or I catch an unflattering glimpse of myself in some store window. I might not be able to do these things if I were a skinny minny like I wanted to be when I was younger. It’s so important to remember to stay present and to cherish your body for what it is RIGHT NOW.

    Thanks again!

  27. Stephanie says:

    You are far more beautiful than Pamela Anderson!! But I know, I know, you didn’t write this post to have people tell you you’re beautiful, so I will shut up. Anyway, thanks for the positive post. It is so true – and I, too, am so over that crap. You don’t like my junk? Don’t look at it then! 🙂 I am working toward being a healthy and happy woman and so that agenda simply cannot accommodate attempts to control the thoughts of others! People think what they think – and frankly, they are not thinking about US, they are thinking about themselves most of the time!! Anyway, thanks. You’re amazing and a great inspiration to others. Keep it up!

  28. […] to https://aliciamgomes.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/who-says/ and read another story of strength and beauty and self confidence.  Than go to a CrossFit box or […]

  29. Derrin says:

    I think you look great chief. I love Amazons. in today’s day and age, so many people just give up trying to be fit and strong to live better and longer. Your legs are defined and smooth, you have great muscle tone and a pretty face, so feed that to your insecurity and keep it pushing.

  30. Kookie says:

    I think you are beautiful, not just your appearance, but your attitide. Beauty comes from within. There are all shapes and sizes and attitude make them beautiful. The nicest people I know are not beautiful models but just ordinary people with beautiful hearts.

  31. Lissa says:

    GORGEOUS photos! You are such an inspiration, not just because of your hard work and dedication, but also because you are such a great person! Your students are very lucky to have such a positive role model in their lives! 🙂

  32. Philippa Fleming says:

    This means so much to me. Unfortunatly, I have gone down the wrong road with this and am working my way back up from anorexia. I am still struggling to accept myself though, expect ally now I have to gain weight and I am getting bigger. Do you have any tips? I would really appreciate it!

    • Alicia says:

      The most important thing is that you are working your way back. That’s amazing! I think that sometimes our minds play tricks on us. We look a certain way and don’t even realize it. Getting bigger may be scary, but it’s probably healthy. I’m not a doctor but my advice would be to try to change your mindset. Put in your mind that you are getting healthier not bigger. Focus on the positive. At least you have the ability to get healthy. There are people out there that are less fortunate and will never have that opportunity.
      Are you a crossfitter? If so, I’d try to put your focus on your performance goals. Start tracking your progress with weight training. For me, it helped to focus on being able to lift more weight rather then the weight or the number on a scale. I started to care less what I looked like and cared more about what I could do physically. I hope that was helpful!

      • Philippa says:

        Thank you! Yes that does help! The only thing is that I have been told by the doctor that I am not allowed to exercise at all until I am at a healthy weight again. I absolutely hate not exercising because I love it so much! And I would love nothing more than to be as muscely as you!!! I am just focusing on my weight goal until I can start to achieve that ultimate goal. How did you get to where you are now? X

      • Alicia Marie says:

        I’m happy to hear that you are focusing on your weight goal! Great place to start!! As for me, I started to focus on my performance goals in the gym. The first step was finding a gym with educated staff and trainers. Then, every time I am in the gym I am trying to achieve more then the previous time in terms of lifting weight or holding a handstand… Basically, I set goals for myself and try to reach them 🙂 I keep a journal so I can document what I have done previously and try my best to do better. Best of luck with everything! I am sure you will reach your goals.

  33. Syd says:

    Thanks for the article Alicia! I read it to my 11 year old daughter. Very beautiful pictures of you. 😉 xoxoxoxo

  34. Nicky says:

    YOU are amazing!!!!! Just reading this makes me see an Amazingly Beautiful woman!!!! Then seeing your picture, and the beautiful
    Work you’ve done with your fitness and health is just an added bonus!!! This is what I wish girls would see and read in magazines, instead of all the unrealistic photos and info they receive today. LOVE IT!!!

  35. Adrian says:

    Means a lot to my wife and I that our kids understand this growing up. Thank you for this inspiring article and for all you do that is so inspiring to so many. You are beautiful.

  36. […] Chest rack stretch, Hurdle stretch, Hip Dislocate Post results to comments. Article: “Who Says?” an article celebrating the beauty of a CrossFit woman. This entry was posted in WOD by […]

  37. kimmyg2011 says:

    Wow, this is definitely what I needed to read this morning. I started CrossFit just over a year and a quarter ago and it has radically changed my life. I’ve lost 90lbs but more than that, I’ve gained life. I see things so differently now. As someone who has had a lifelong struggle with self-confidence, your post really spoke to me. Yesterday I was treated to a lovely little speech by two people very close to me telling me muscles on girls do not look good. Essentially they were telling me my muscles look terrible and I should stop lifting so much in order to make them go away. I feel like muscles resemble heath and I’m not about to stop working out.

    Your post was a breath of fresh air this morning, it’s so nice to hear from a like-minded person.

    You’re beautiful, thanks for sharing.

  38. Lisa says:

    Alicia, you have ALWAYS been beautiful inside and out! Anyone who thinks otherwise must be dumb, blind, and mute! love you!!! You continue to amaze me, wish I had your self motivation. I hope you realize that although you may have worried what others thought, the majority of us have and always will think of you as AMAZING!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I came upon your blog rather randomly but despite not knowing you could not resist leaving a comment. These photos are incredible. You are stunning. I admit to thinking, at first, “easy for you to say, you ARE beautiful”. But then I re-read the entire post and some of your other posts. You are beautiful, but more importantly insightful and inspiring. Thank you.

  40. […] Gomes~Who Says: A great post from a CrossFit Games competitor talking about the importance of self […]

  41. Meg says:

    OH. MY. GOSH. You have me.

    This is the FIRST post I’ve ever read of yours, thanks to a friend, and I LOVE YOU.

    I’ve been blogging for a year now and as you can imagine, I real A LOT of blogs. I have to say that this is the best post I’ve ever read, though.

    Thank you thank you thank you!

    You are in my google reader now and I’m going to keep up with you and your blog from now on! I’m so excited!

  42. Colleen says:

    Thank you for posting this!!! When I read that someone as gorgeous & fit as you has insecurities about her body, it makes me feel a little bit better about my own.

  43. Shannon Kittelsen says:

    That is so inspiring

  44. Sophie says:

    Alicia, I think you’re absolutely beautiful! I love reading your blog and aspire to a body like yours. Personally, I don’t think Pamela Anderson is aesthetically attractive, which goes to show you that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder!

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