Kate Middleton's toned arms are a 'discreet sign of feminine power'
Margaret Thatcher had famously changed her voice to a deeper tone as she swiftly rose to power to become the first woman Prime Minister in Great Britain. Many female authors choose to write under masculine pen names to get their work approved. There are several examples in history in which women have had to alter their traits to survive, and better thrive in a world of men. Part of that is investing their resources to become physically fit and set goals for themselves and others to become powerful role models instead of 'damsels in distress'.
Women like the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, Michele Obama, and Gal Gadot have become frontrunners in what appears to be a "status symbol", as labelled by author Lisa Hilton in her latest Daily Mail article.
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Toned arms, she writes, are "a discreet sign of youth, confidence and feminine power – and likely to draw a sigh of envy from one watching woman as a perfect hair dryer." In a recent public appearance at the Royal Charity Polo Cup, Kate Middleton flaunted her perfectly sculpted arms in her chic, sleeveless white Emilia Wickstead dress.
Lisa took careful note of her appearance and mentioned the delicate balance the duchess struck as she wore a modern and fresh outfit but still managed to "invoke a venerable tradition". The British author continued how the size of women's arms has seen a metamorphosis ranging from societal norms of waxing them to investing "money and effort" in toning them.
Citing numerous examples and instances from history which looked down upon girls and women with muscle development, Hilton elaborated upon a detailed timeline of toned arms and feminism. For example, girls in the Greek city of Sparta were trained athletes and immensely fit. Their display of toned muscles drew both admiration and doubt from society. However, they were also educated and went to school, where they learnt to sing, dance, and perform other 'lady-like' activities.
Years went by, and the show of muscle was an implied sign of "manual labour" and the prospect of belonging to the lower strata of society. Hilton then quoted the book 'Curvology: The Origins And Power Of Female Body Shape' which commented on the near-uselessness of having heavy arms compared to fuller breasts and hips, which were signs of being healthy child-bearers. Hilton, very charmingly, added Victorian women would be discouraged from having toned arms to show they "never had to handle anything heavier than a pearl-studded glove."
Throwing specific tidbits about how WWII caused a shift in the workforce dynamics, she then swiftly graduated to women's swimwear being revealing and the advent of peak women's fitness.
But several iconic movements and females later, toned arms and upper body strength became widely popular only after "Michelle Obama posed in a sleeveless dress for her official photo as First Lady in 2009," Hilton opined. Needless to say, Hilton also noted that maintaining these "guns" require strenuous and consistent effort. Demanding sports like tennis or martial art forms are the go-to methods women and men often take up to get their much-needed upper body strength.
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Giving many examples of women who both have and do not have toned arms like those of the Duchess, Lisa's writeup concluded on the note that toned limbs (or the lack thereof) have nothing to do with being a man or a woman. She said, "if the evolution of women's arms shows us anything, it's that an upper arm of any size can be considered stylish and sexy."