Shattering Stereotypes, Bodybuilder Mamatha Kumar Stands As An Inspiring Example Of Body Positivity
- IWB Post
- May 13, 2019
Bodybuilding is seen as the sport of men, especially in India where women who are seen excelling in it are perceived to be non-feminine. But, they say that if a woman puts her mind to something, there’s nothing she can’t accomplish, and true to that adage, Mamatha Sanathkumar stands as an example of breaking stereotypes regarding women taking up the sport, and dismissing the myth that muscles don’t look good on women.
For Bengaluru resident Mamatha, hailing from the Basavapura village in Karnataka, the idea of being fit was a distant dream. “I was not always into bodybuilding or even working out,” she shared with The Better India. “In fact, until November 2015, I was overweight. Like anyone else, I loved burgers, pizza, soft drinks, and other junk food. Add my post-pregnancy weight to that and I was almost touching 90 kg. But something clicked a winter month, and I started working out. By the following November, I was down to 62 kg and already in love with my workouts.”
A mother to a toddler and a homemaker, Mamatha enjoyed investing time in the gym and was on her way to becoming a trainer when life threw a curveball at her. In 2017, her husband lost his job. “After losing his job, he obviously got frustrated. And soon enough, his frustrations were taken out on us. There were quarrels in the house that I didn’t want my daughter to witness. And just like that, almost impulsively, I decided to become a body-builder. It’s quite rare for a village girl like me to pursue it, but I did it anyway.”
As obvious, she received no support from her family initially, but nothing stopped 27-year-old Mamatha from making a career in bodybuilding as she had wished to. “I was told, time and again from my parents and my husband that I must stop displaying my body in shows and on social media. But social media itself helped me turn this criticism into support. I kept getting appreciating comments on how supportive my family was which in reality was just the opposite initially. But the more comments my family read, the faster they came to accept me as I am.”
The way I see it. ⠀ We have two options when it comes to our stretch marks. ⠀ ⠀ We can, ⠀ let those stretch marks define us, hold us back from reaching our goals and feeling confident in ourselves ⠀ ⠀ Or ⠀ ⠀ We can remember why they’re there, what we went through to get them, and that they are a part of what makes us who we are but most importantly, just own those suckers. ⠀ ⠀ Be confident in yourself, the journey you’re on, and LOVE, OWN, and EMBRACE every single part of what makes you, YOU. Even those pesky stretch marks 😘 Post pregnancy 🤰 stretch marks ♥️🙌 Photography @imvjgowda MUA @mua_vidyapatil ⠀ #flexfriday #ifbbpro #flashback #stretchmarks #fitmom #momlife #athlete #ironwomen #sheruclassic #ifbbproleague #bodybuildingmotivation #bestrong #strongwomen #quadsqueen #bosslady #musclemom
1,426 Likes, 71 Comments – MUSCLE MOM 🇮🇳 (@mamatha_ifbbpro_official) on Instagram: “The way I see it. ⠀ We have two options when it comes to our stretch marks. ⠀ ⠀ We can, ⠀ let those…”
Breaking another stigma associated with women, Mamatha in an Instagram post shared an inspiring note for women about stretch marks and steering away from the unrealistic notions of beauty standards. Talking about it, she shared, “The way I see it, we have two options when it comes to our stretch marks. We can let those stretchmarks define us; hold us back from reaching our goals and feeling confident in ourselves. Or, we can remember why they’re there, what we went through to get them and that they are a part if what makes us who we are. But most importantly, just own those suckers. Be confident in yourself, the journey you’re on and love, own, and embrace every single part of what makes you, you. Even those pesky stretch marks.”
“When it comes to tiger stripes, I never want others to think I’m saying I’m the only one that has them in the fitness industry. Because guess what? Reality is that more women than you think have stretch marks. Whether it’s on their tummy, bums, thighs, or breasts. But, my hope is that with me being so open about them, and sharing my experience in the industry having tiger stripes and extra skin, it would help other women know it’s ok to embrace them, love them, share them with pride, and love whatever journey that comes with them,” she adds.
Today, several Indian women are breaking stereotypes by not only enrolling in gymnasiums to keep fit, but also to become strong and be ready to kick some serious ass, and Mamatha stands as an inspiring example among them.
H/T: The Better India