See, she was stunningly gorgeous. Tanned skin, bright eyes, long dark hair and a black tank top on revealing her cut, muscular arms, chest and shoulders. She was adorned in some places with gold temporary tattoos.
It was obvious that she is an athlete and lifts weights regularly. As someone who values building muscle, I admired her traps, delts and forearms. As I personally work hard to build muscle, I absolutely love seeing women rock strong bodies. We all admired her and the men olged a bit and voiced their intimidation.
There we sat, all of us, talking about her body.
Each time she came to the table and left, the conversation would come back to her physique. "Is she a body builder?", "A power lifter?", "A physique competitor?", "She could beat me up!", "She could beat you up!", "Man, she looks strong!".
Overall, the tone of the conversation was one of awe and admiration. But, I still couldn't shake that it was none of our business anyway, no matter if what we felt about her body was positive or negative. We could feel that she was the most attractive or unattractive person on this earth, but it's still none of our business to judge her physique, let alone TELL HER how we feel about HER body.
Do we have the right to comment on her body because it's clear that she may work hard at it?
Are we obligated to say something just because we notice it?
Do we even know how SHE feels about her body? Would a compliment be well received or would our seemingly harmless comments about her body cause her damage in some way?
The opinions varied around the table; someone thought that she may work hard and be thrilled to talk about her training, while someone else thought she'd be might be embarrassed and feel put on the spot, and someone else thought that NOT saying something might actually be worse.
We finally arrived at the fact that her physique is not an elephant in the room that must be addressed.
Just because she is wearing clothes that happen to show her muscular physique, she is not displaying her body for public opinion or feedback. She's simply wearing a tank top, on a hot night, to do her job. The fact that she has temporary tattoos adorning on her chest and bicep still don't give us the right to comment on her physique. Her body is not up for public interpretation. All that matters is how she chooses to think and talk about her body.
The women around the table couldn't help but bring up the true elephant in the room. What if our server that night was a man who was impressively built? Would our boyfriends and husbands agree that his physique was something that needed to be talked about, validated and complimented just the same as our female waitress. Would it have been such a lively discussion?
I want to be clear, this isn't an attack on our partners. To a degree, women owning their ability to be more and not less, to build muscle and not obsess over being skinny and lean like the headlines want us to...it's a relatively new movement (but it's gaining momentum!). This conversation is more about the fact that regardless of what we do with our bodies, no matter how hard (or not) that we work, the only opinion of our body that matters is ours.
Our physiques are not up for comment.