Instagram star Kelsey Wells claps back at the trolls.

By Julia Naftulin
September 25, 2017

As anyone who has ever stepped into a weight room knows, women own the room as much as men do. And they have good reason to love lifting. Studies have shown that lifting weights builds strength, improves overall functionality, and helps maintain muscle mass as you age.

Yet internet trolls and random critics IRL won't stop telling fit chicks that strength training is unfeminine, and that it will make their bodies look manly or too bulky. 

Tired of the unsolicited comments from haters who clearly don't know what they're talking about, fitness blogger Kelsey Wells took to Instagram to say her piece. "Comments along the lines of 'you're looking manly' or 'careful you don't want to be bulky' or 'weightlifting isn't feminine' never cease to amaze me," wrote Wells.

Comments along the lines of "you're looking manly" or "careful you don't want to be bulky" or "weightlifting isn't feminine" never cease to amaze me.🤦🏻‍♀️🙄 I choose not to respond to negativity, but I do have something to say about this and I want to say it loud and clear. NOT in response to those who have left negative messages and comments, but instead to ALL MY FELLOW WOMEN who have ever received a similar comment or been told they need to do/be something different to be beautiful or feminine. THE ONLY THING A WOMAN NEEDS TO DO TO BE BEAUTIFUL AND FEMININE IS TO BE HERSELF. We empower ourselves when we are living our truth and doing what we are PASSIONATE about with our WHOLE HEARTS. I was always a girly girl growing up and I love getting dressed up on occasion. What has surprised me though is finding I feel most beautiful when I'm gross and sweaty in the gym when I'm pushing myself in my training, and even more so as I'm wrestling on the floor with my son or any time I'm looking into that little face and teaching him about his world. . There is 100% beauty and femininity in lifting weights. Just as there is in dancing. There is beauty in MOTHERHOOD. There is beauty in marriage. There is beauty in being a homemaker. There is beauty in being single. There is beauty in pursuing a career. There is beauty in education, in learning both inside and outside of school. There is beauty in public speaking. There is beauty in private, sincere conversation. There is beauty in writing and cooking and cleaning and singing and playing sports and playing instruments and anything and everything else you might enjoy, because simply there is SO MUCH BEAUTY in YOU, you just need to choose to see it. And it has nothing to do with what you look like. So free yourself of the opinions of others and the beauty standards of society. Pay attention to the moments in life you FEEL beautiful. What are you doing? DO MORE OF THAT. 🖤 .

A post shared by KELSEY WELLS (@kelseywells) on

In the post, she advised her female followers to ignore these ridiculous claims and any other comments suggesting that there's a "right" way to be feminine. "THE ONLY THING A WOMAN NEEDS TO DO TO BE BEAUTIFUL AND FEMININE IS TO BE HERSELF," Wells proclaimed. She added that she feels most beautiful at the gym when she's sweating up a storm, and she plans to continue to ignore negative comments about the gym workouts she loves.

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For years, badass women like Serena Williams and Aly Raisman have had their toned bodies critiqued, even though these athletes are fitness inspirations to women everywhere. Yet for some reason, the bulk-up thing just won't die. (For the record, women can't bulk up the way men who lift do, because the typical female body has only a fraction of the testosterone guys have.)

So if you're a weight-lifting newbie or have been benching and lifting for years, use Wells' fierce comeback as motivation to keep at it and revel in how strong, powerful, and beautiful you feel. "Pay attention to the moments in life you FEEL beautiful. What are you doing? DO MORE OF THAT."