American bodybuilder, entrepreneur, and activist Kortney Olson’s athleisure e-brand, GRRL Clothing, is seeking to champion body positivity through a variety of means — not least of all by celebrating the beauty of muscles. The new brand, which is already predicted to hit sales of $231.7 billion worldwide by 2024, offers clothes of all sizes — minus the technical size labels themselves. Instead, women and girls choose clothes based on the body types of the athletes they identify with — ranging from petite martial artists such as Brionii Cuskely, to larger athletes such as USA weightlifting star Ali Ludwig. Other brand sponsors include powerlifters and mixed martial arts stars such as Holly Holm of Ultimate Fighting Championship, who beat legendary fighter Ronda Rousey for the bantamweight title in 2015.
“People thought we were mad to start a brand without traditional sizing, but it’s a system that was started by a man in the 1940s … who worked in the agricultural business,” Olson told Forbes. According to Olson’s team, the so-called large size of other athleisure brands, such as Lululemon, are still too small for 67.5 percent of American women.
View this post on Instagram
40% of 3 year old girls don't like their body. Research has shown this to be related to unrealistic body types and retouched or photoshopped images. The damage it's causing is horrific. And starts as young as 3. We believe in body diversity and athlete diversity. And presenting a balanced image of what real life… Real grrrls look like. You may or may not want to support US directly. But if you don't want to buy our clothes…. There are other female owned brands that are doing the right thing day in and day out. Please think of them before you buy from the mainstream brands that are presenting unrealistic body image… Altered bodyshapes….. And don't promote all our glorious shapes and colors and ethnicities and beliefs. DM us for brand suggestions. #grrrlarmy your support is changing lives and changing the world. Thank you. #grrrl #diversity #effyourbeautystandards #effphotoshop
Olson, who became famous for her ability to crush a watermelon between her thighs and for becoming Australia’s first female arm-wrestling champion, has long worked to combat what she has characterized as a crisis of confidence among young girls that’s stoked by a misogynistic body-shaming society and social media networks that encourage girls to compare themselves and their bodies endlessly with each other. Her Kamp Konfidence initiative seeks to combat such “subconscious programming,” and she says she wants her brand to serve as an extension of those efforts.
View this post on Instagram
Happy national watermelon day for tomorrow. All kinds of shenanigans planned…. But we thought we would kick off the fun early. Please tag yourself below if you are in the video and we will tag you here. Watch till the end to see what happens to the watermelons afterwards. PS if you didn't make the video tag us again #kortneyolsonwatermelonchallenge and we will try and do an updated version…. We tried really hard to include as many grrrls as we could. @kortney_olson @lancellot1 @natvanpt @natvangrrrl @holliecob @oompoofishy @kythrie @tina.510 @i_have_two_peanuts @alli.lifts.things @towerofpowergrrrl @sharonstrands @hamnygetfit @kushtilifter_bota @hakenina @wlsplusfitness @paloma257 @taymay55 @asumprer @abzagailz @sierra.h14 @aja_hk @s.e.argile @charmcitychick @d_anna.caligrrrl @the_vanessa_b_ @aserettt #grrrl #grrrlarmy #oneforall #togetherwerise #notyourcompetition #occupyspace #effyourbeautystandards #watermelon #nationalwatermelonday
“Most of the barriers women encounter are mental not physical but they play out physically,” she explained. “We’re deliberately challenging stereotypes to remind women how powerful they are.”
Read the full story at Forbes.