Kira Stokes is proud of her muscles and wants you to be too.


Kira Stokes does not mess around when it comes to fitness. The creator of The Stokes Method is behind both our 30-day plank challenge and 30-day arms challenge, and she designs circuits for celebrities like Shay Mitchell, our February cover girl, and Fuller House's Candace Cameron Bure.

And just because she's strong as hell (seriously, try her intense obliques workout) doesn't mean she's immune to insults. Comments like '"That's disgusting. Not feminine at all" and "I'm all for lean, but that's a man's body," appear on Kira's Instagram posts, picking her apart for being 'too' strong.

"When you read comments like that on social media, despite being a super confident human, you can't help but feel them hit your heart-even just a little bit," Kira recently told Shape. "That feeling doesn't stick with me for long-I can brush it off-but just because we, as trainers, have this strong outward physique doesn't mean we don't have a human side. No matter how strong your exterior looks, your feelings, and emotions are bound to get hurt."

Kira says she's received similar comments in person as well. "I'll be out on a beach, walking around like everyone else, and out loud I've heard people say stuff like 'ugh I never want to look like that'" she says. "It's frustrating because I think people see a strong woman and feel like they can say whatever because she won't be bothered by it. It's not okay."

Kira tries to remember that these comments have nothing to do with her. "I love the hard work that I put into my body," she says. "It's meant to inspire people and not make them feel any less about themselves, so when I hear comments like that, I just remind myself that those people have something going on within themselves that has nothing to do with me."

That's why we're so proud to have Kira join our #MindYourOwnShape campaign, which is all about letting people know that loving your body should never mean hating on someone else's.

Kira has one simple message for those who still hate on other people's bodies: "Before you make a comment, step back and think about how it's going to make you feel. Knowing that you wrote 'she looks like a man,' will that help you sleep better at night? Will it make you feel better as a person? Odds are, probably not." We certainly hope not.

Kira hopes that she can inspire other women to realize they're the only ones who can dictate what being feminine really means. "In this day and age, I hope we've evolved to accept the fact that women love to be in the gym, lift weights, and create a strong body," she says. "Whatever that might look like for any woman should be considered feminine."