Apparently, not me.
I meet someone, out and about in the world and inevitably, they ask me what do you do? Then the awkward moment of telling someone I wrestle for a living begins...
More often than not the response that I get is infused with a mixture of disbelief, intimidation, awe, and confusion.. because quite often, they say something like; "well, you sure don't look like a wrestler..."
So what does a wrestler look like?
What is your idea of how an Olympic athlete should appear?
Why do we have these conceptions of what a female athlete must look like?
The conflicting images of the female and wrestler is something we have well, wrestled with, for many years. My identity as an athlete and woman is something I negotiate on a daily basis as we are increasingly inundated with constantly evolving conceptions of what the ideal female body should be.
These negotiations often occur in the back of my mind and yes, if you are waiting for me to get to the point, I struggle with how I look and how I feel about my body.
But in the same way that I struggle in the pursuit of excellence within my sport everyday, I overcome these challenges, expectations and pressures of societal expectations around body image by replacing the negative with positive and by focusing on what I can control.
The image of the ideal body has been distorted and altered to an unbearable degree within the media and increasingly on social media. The creation of #fitspo and the pornification of the athletic female body is increasingly problematic as the focus on athletic pursuits have shifted away from the sheer joy of movement and towards likes and shares and followers.
Mandy Bujold talks about
I'm white and heterosexual (among many other things) and I navigate a space as an elite Canadian athlete that is abundant with privilege.
Erica Wiebe is a Canadian freestyle wrestler and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Calgary. Her passion for wrestling and writing combine in the words of this blog, sprinkled with a strong opinion on certain matters and a hint of feminist thrown in for good measure.