Reebok joined forces with an artist and a CrossFit Games athlete to squash the idea that muscles aren't sexy once and for all.

By Samantha Lefave
Updated: March 23, 2018
Photo: Reebok

Let's get one thing straight: We no longer live in an age where the biggest marker of "healthy" and "fit" is fitting into a size 0 dress. Thank God. Science has shown us that there is no one body size that fits or trumps all, and you can't say people aren't fit just because they're fat. (Related: The Truth About Being Fat But Fit)

Sadly, a lot of women still shy away from the idea of having visible or substantial muscle. Scared of looking "too muscular," many women believe that they'll bulk up if they lift heavy weights. (P.S. That's so not true.) Or they just don't think having a lot of muscle is feminine or beautiful. (This is in line with the BS online criticism one celeb trainer receives on a regular basis. Hear more about how these kinds of comments can affect people, plus, why body-shaming has got to stop with our #MindYourOwnShape campaign.)

This anti-feminine notion, simply put, is lame. Because muscles are sexy. Reebok agrees, which is why the brand is on a mission to finally put that concept to bed. So they got together with artist Sara Shakeel, who's famous for her "glitter stretch mark art," and CrossFit coach and Games athlete Jamie Greene, to illustrate that strong women are beautiful, empowering, and all-around badass.

The results were recently unveiled, and yes, rhinestones are involved. A lot of them, actually. This time, instead of highlighting stretch marks, Shakeel is using the sparkly stuff to show off Greene's incredible muscle contours.

Photo: Reebok

"The whole process was about embracing women working out and showing that their muscles are beautiful," says Shakeel in a statement. "It was super empowering to see a woman of such strength and such willpower, [both] mentally and physically."

As for Greene, she loves that Shakeel isn't trying to create any illusions. "Sara's idea is about putting on this glitter and diamonds and glamming up females in whatever they want," she also said in a statement about the project. "It's just emphasizing the beauty that's already there…I'm proud of my muscles. They show what work I've done. I like to put that out there and show that to the world." (See how this woman is transforming her "flaws" into works of art.)

So next time you're wondering what that 20-pound dumbbell is going to do for your body aesthetically compared to the 10-pound weight, know that the answer is a resounding: good things, very good things. Better yet, forget the aesthetics altogether. Think about how amazing you'll feel on the inside. From a health perspective, the outward appearance is just a bonus. Whether it's muscles, stretch marks, or wrinkles, every body is different, and they're all awesome. And women should no longer be afraid to own that.

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