Hope SoloAs a style blogger, I am constantly subjected to images of emaciated models, their collarbones protruding from their skin, and size zero actresses who talk of eight-hour sessions at the gym and macrobiotic diets.

I worry about the impact this portrayal of "beauty" will have on my daughter, and how she feels about her own body.

More immediately, I worry about the impact they have on me, looking at them day after day after day and knowing that I don't have any interest in putting in the many sacrifices it would take in order to be that thin and "in."

That's why I've been LOVING the attention given to the Women's U.S. National Soccer Team over the last couple of weeks, particularly after their quarterfinal win yesterday against Brazil.

One of the team's biggest stars is Hope Solo, an undeniably pretty goalie who has captured the hearts of male and female fans alike.

This is the kind of woman that I want my daughter to want to be like.

This is real beauty.

Hope Solo is feminine and clearly takes the time to put on a little makeup before taking the field. She dyes her hair (sometimes she's blonde, sometimes brunette -- right now, she's in between), she plucks her eyebrows, she makes sure her skin has a healthy glow. There's nothing wrong with that.

But Hope Solo is also strong. Toned. Aggressive. Unafraid.

She walks a perfect balance between femininity and athleticism.

What a great role model for our daughters. What a great role model for us.

I really do long for a time when the Hope Solos of the world are our standard of beauty. Not emaciated Angelina Jolie. Not skinny Gwynnie Paltrow. 

No one's asking if Hope Solo has had Botox. No one's telling Hope Solo she needs to lose a little weight. No one's speculating about Hope Solo's dress size.

What a nice change, right?

What do you think about Hope Solo's brand of beauty? Can we ever hope that a strong, healthy woman will embody the kind of beauty we're all striving to achieve? Or is it Hope-less?

 

Image via Scott Heavey/Getty Images