As if the pressure of competing in the Olympics wasn't enough, British weight lifter Zoe Smith has also endured a torrent of sexist and misogynist comments on Twitter and Facebook regarding her figure.
Smith posted a message on her personal blog responding to her critics in epic fashion.
We don’t lift weights in order to look hot, especially for the likes of men like that. What makes them think that we even WANT them to find us attractive? If you do, thanks very much, we’re flattered. But if you don’t, why do you really need to voice this opinion in the first place, and what makes you think we actually give a toss that you, personally, do not find us attractive? What do you want us to do? Shall we stop weightlifting, amend our diet in order to completely get rid of our ‘manly’ muscles, and become housewives in the sheer hope that one day you will look more favourably upon us and we might actually have a shot with you?! Cause you are clearly the kindest, most attractive type of man to grace the earth with your presence.
Oh but wait, you aren’t. This may be shocking to you, but we actually would rather be attractive to people who aren’t closed-minded and ignorant. Crazy, eh?! We, as any women with an ounce of self-confidence would, prefer our men to be confident enough in themselves to not feel emasculated by the fact that we aren’t weak and feeble.
Because a record number of women are competing in the Olympics this year, including several from countries that have never sent women to the Olympics before, there has also been a record amount of bile spewed at the athletes themselves and plenty of examples of the media objectifying or denigrating them.
NBC, for example, has spent more time covering which female gymnasts have cried rather than what their accomplishments are.