+
Family

How I learned to love my body as a female athlete.

Society can no longer tell me what is and isn’t beautiful.

Editor’s note: To help celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day, we asked University of Southern California athlete Victoria Garrick for her take on being a female athlete in 2017.

For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to act: Poised. Sweet. Quiet.


For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to be: Gentle. Delicate. Soft.

For so long, society has told women how we are supposed to look: Skinny. Sexy. Beautiful.

For so long, society never told women that we could be strong.

The idea of what it means to be a beautiful woman has changed for me many times. In 2011, when I was 13, I thought beautiful meant weighing the same as the Victoria’s Secret models I googled. In 2013, at 15, I thought beautiful meant having the hashtag-famous “thigh gap.” In 2016, at the age of 18, I thought beautiful meant not having to edit your pictures on Instagram.

Graduating high school, I was a lean girl, happy with my appearance. Of course, I had fallen victim to believing in society’s standards a couple of times and maybe read too many tabloid magazines, but overall I was content with myself. This changed when I became a college athlete.

When I committed to the USC women’s indoor volleyball team, I was overjoyed at the opportunity and prepared to learn, but I was not prepared for the significant changes my body was about to endure. After I started lifting and practicing with a Division I team, my body began to change quickly before my eyes. All of a sudden, I was burning close to 1,300 calories a practice, lifting heavy weights, and eating around 4,000 calories each day. This was a huge change from the routine I had grown accustomed to in high school.

Image via Jim Wolf.

After just a few months of this regimen, I was no longer that lean girl. I was bigger and I was muscular. However, I didn’t pay much attention to it until one particular weekend my freshman season.

Excited to have the day off, I went shopping. I wanted to buy something that would make me feel girly and pretty, because sweating in a gym every day and max-squatting 220 pounds isn’t girly and pretty, right? After grabbing a pile of clothes to try on, I headed into a changing room not knowing that the next 10 minutes would turn me against myself. The first pair of jeans wouldn’t pull past my thighs. The next shirt I tried was too tight on my arms. The dress I loved on the mannequin wasn’t zipping up my back. Piece after piece, nothing fit. I wondered anxiously, “Is it me? Is this marked wrong?!” As I squeezed out of the dress, my eyes welled with tears. After a few more attempts to make anything work, I could no longer hold in my emotions. Behind the curtains of a 5-by-5-foot changing room, I silently began to cry.

"I could sprint 100 meters in 14.60 seconds. I could single-leg squat 130 pounds, and I could hold a plank for four minutes. All of this still means I’m feminine."

I spent the rest of that year attempting different diets, avoiding certain outfits, and despising the athletic lifts I had to do every day in practice. For countless months, I was focusing on my body, trying to be skinnier, and trying to eat less than what my body required to perform.

However, after two semesters enduring this misery, I finally realized something that all female athletes must come to on their own: There is nothing wrong with my body.

I had a firm stomach. My legs were rock solid. And my arms were defined. I could sprint 100 meters in 14.60 seconds. I could single-leg squat 130 pounds, and I could hold a plank for four minutes. All of this didn’t make me any less feminine.

I was still that healthy-looking girl, but now I had the build of an athlete. What I hadn't understood in the dressing room was that I was strong. I didn’t know that strong was something I could be. From that point on, my outlook changed. Just because you are not a certain dress size or weigh more than 120 pounds does not mean you’re not beautiful. Just because your body needs to consume 4,000 calories a day does not mean you are fat.

And, most importantly, girls who compete to win the national championship will not, and physically cannot, look the same as models clouding our Instagram feeds. So, as a female athlete playing volleyball for the University of Southern California, I finally realized what it meant to be a beautiful woman. And to my pleasure, it was nothing that society had told me to be.

This story originally appeared on GOOD.

The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less

"You can’t just say, 'I want to be a dentist,'” judge Simon Cowell told the duo.

Back in 2014, cello-playing brothers Emil and Dariel wowed "America’s Got Talent" audiences with their cello rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s "Purple Haze," even becoming finalists for the season.

After getting invited back to participate in "America’s Got Talent: All Stars," the duo once again rocked the house with an epic cover of "Take On Me." This classic A-ha tune has been covered a lot, so the fact that these two gave it fresh new life is no easy feat.

However, judge Simon Cowell remained unimpressed.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

A woman treats her miniature pig like a toddler and it even 'talks' with electronic buttons

Merlin will tap buttons that say “eat,” “outside” and “ice cream.”

Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash

A woman treats her pig like a toddler and the internet can't get enough.

Pigs are cute. Well, piglets are cute, but they usually don't stay those tiny little snorting things very long. That is unless you get a mini pig and name it something majestic like Merlin. (I would've gone with Hamlet McBacon, but no one asked me.)

Mina Alali, a TikTok user from California, has been going viral on the internet for her relationship with Merlin, her miniature pig. Of course, there are plenty of folks out there with pigs—mini pigs, medium pigs, pigs that weigh hundreds of pounds and live in a barn with a spider named Charlotte. But not everyone carries their pig around on adventures like it's their child.

Alali's videos of her sweet interactions with her little pig have gotten a lot of people wanting their own piggy, but training Merlin wasn't always easy. According to Yahoo Finance, the 25-year-old told SWNS that she has wanted a pig her whole life and finding Merlin was a "dream come true," but she wasn't expecting how challenging it would be to train him. If you've never been around pigs, then you may not know that they squeal—a lot—and unless you're living on an actual farm, that could be a problem.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

More than seven thousand people shared their best ideas to stop mass shootings. Here are the best.

Everyone agrees mass shootings need to end. But what can really be done?

A makeshift memorial after the 2019 El Paso mass shooting.

As of January 24, 2023, at least 69 people have been killed in 39 mass shootings across the United States . The deadliest shooting happened on January 21 in Monterey Park, California, when a 72-year-old man shot 20 people, killing 11. On January 23, a 66-year-old man killed 7 people and injured another in a shooting in Half Moon Bay, California.

It’s hard to see these stories in the news every few weeks—or days—and not get desensitized, especially when lawmakers have made it clear that they will not do anything substantive to curb the availability of assault weapons in the U.S.

After the assault weapons ban, which had been in effect for 10 years, lapsed in 2004, the number of mass shootings tripled.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

People rally behind a 12-year-old actress who was 'humiliated' with a 'Razzie' nomination

The parody awards show has now enforced an age limit rule to its nominations.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong in the 2022 film 'Firestarter'

Since the early 80s, the Golden Raspberry Awards, aka the "Razzies," has offered a lighthearted alternative to the Oscars, which, though prestigious, can sometimes dip into the pretentious. During the parody ceremony, trophies are awarded to the year’s worst films and performances as a way to "own your bad," so the motto goes.

However, this year people found the Razzies a little more than harmless fun when 12-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong was nominated for "Worst Actress" for her performance in the 2022 film "Firestarter." She was 11 when the movie was filmed.

Sadly, this is not the first time a child has received a Razzie nom. Armstrong joins the ranks of Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," as well as Macaulay Culkin, who was nominated three times.

Armstrong's nomination resulted in a flood of comments from both industry professionals and fans who felt the action was cruel and wanted to show their support for the young actress.

Keep ReadingShow less