Hope Solo: This Is REAL Beauty

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


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Anna Smith Maynard

Great post. I'd love to see more women like Hope portrayed as role models. Healthy is in.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Love it!  Strong, healthy and kick-ass - doesn't get any better than that.

bills... billsfan1104

I love the article, but I have never thought of Angelina has emmancipated. Skinny yes, but not Emmancipated. You called Gwenneth skinny, now I think that is emmanciapted and Gwenneth doesnt eat healthy either. BUt I would rather have someone who is toned like this and eats healthy to represent our country.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I wish people would stop picking on gwyneth. She works hard to maintain her body and she eats a healthy diet. She's slim but it's a healthy slim, not scrawny. Just look at her arms compared to say Angelina. Angie is scrawny, her arms look like she's being held prisoner and forced to work in the mines, but gwyneth is toned. Gwyneth looks nice and balanced, not like a lollipop like the scrawny ones.

I think we need healthy role models at all sizes. Some women are wider and bulkier when they're fit while others are slim and willowy. A lot depends on what exercise they're doing. A soccer player is going to have bigger thighs and calves than a ballet dancer but they're both incredibly fit and strong in their own ways. My kick boxing instructor is bigger built than my yoga instructor but they're both sexy and I work with both of them so I can get the best of both worlds. It's means I can carry my husband to bed and then bend my body into interesting positions ;-)

Linds... LindsayFerrier

RhondaVeggie, you need to read this post.

I don't believe Gwyneth Paltrow's diet is at all healthy. And I do believe that any doctor would categorize her as underweight.

Margie Lusk

I totally agree.  And, I really believe that most men find an athletic physique more attractive than an artificially emaciated one too... if only the fashion world and Hollywood would get the clue!

Buffi Helton Messer

My daughter is 14 and is the goal-keeper for her competitive soccer team. She is every bit as confident and gorgeous as Miss Hope Solo. And I am so grateful for that. I am glad that Carolyn has such a good role model in such a public role right now to encourage her as she enters high school. Hooray for Hope!


nonmember avatar mommy2be

I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS ARTICLE!! I was an athlete but was always told i was too skinny n blah blah blah!! I was feminine to a certain extent and i never let any comments people threw at me get in the way of my confidence!! i Love Hope Solo!!! N i Love you Lindsay! lol

Tessa Noe

Go soccer girls! I think that every girl should join a sports team. There's a bond between girls on the team, and you're SO healthy that you feel great. It's a huge confidence builder! I played soccer and I'm thankful for it all the time, I was healthy strong and had a wonderful support system through what can be the roughest years of a teenage girl's life.

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