Valerie Adams replies to teen's 'strong is beautiful' message on social media

The teen said she had now found a group of girls who "showed me the true value of being strong". Photo: Eboni Nash/Facebook
The teen said she had now found a group of girls who "showed me the true value of being strong". Photo: Eboni Nash/Facebook

A 15-year-old shot-putter from the US has sent an inspiring message about the beauty of strong women to New Zealand shot-put olympian, Valerie Adams.

Eboni Nash wrote an article about being "strong and beautiful" and her personal experience of growing up as a physically strong female.

The teen then posted a link to the piece on Ms Adam's Facebook page along with the caption: "Hey Valerie! Here is an article I wrote about being strong and beautiful! I too am a thrower and I am inspired by your work ethics".

In the article, featured on the Odyssey Online, Ms Nash talks of growing up with a desire to be strong and restrictive gender stereotypes which made this difficult.

"Strength is the quality or sanctity of being strong or capable. As a little girl, I was always pressured into dresses and cute "gender appropriate"play dates.

"However, I always craved something more; I wanted to get dirty and play rough. You got it, I was the girl who wanted to play football," she wrote.

"As I got older, and my body started to develop, I became more and more interested in working out. Not the typical "dainty"workout, but actual weight lifting. I yearned to see the progressive trimming, shaping and molding of my body."

The teen said she had now found a group of girls who "showed me the true value of being strong".

Ms Nash went on to question societal views of strong women asking why strength is generally viewed as a negative quality in women.

"We constantly hear girls say that they do not want to lift too much in fear of someday looking like a man. This comment has never entered my mind.

"Is it such a bad thing to be strong? Let's not focus on muscles entirely, but strength in general. Are women afraid to be categorized as strong because it somehow makes them unlovable? Does it make women unattractive to be strong?"

She went on to encourage others not to be ashamed of their strength but to value it.

"Aside from physical strength, being strong in general is also important. Women every day are degraded and pushed into a corner, categorized as weak or not as capable. It is important for us all to know that being strong doesn't mean we aren't capable of being loved, it just means we will be OK without it." Ms Adam's, who is a two-time Olympic winner, three-time Commonwealth champion and four-time World Champion shot-putter, shared the post saying the article was "a great read for all female throwers- strong is beautiful".

Her post has attracted almost 500 shares and several comments on the piece.

"Enjoyed reading this -- thanks for sharing Valerie," one person wrote.

- NZ Herald

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