Yup, turns out that
I can be both.

“I just don’t get people who have abs and that “strong” look but are also so “princess-ey” – it doesn’t seem right to me. They can’t be both….”

“Stop trying to be a fit chick. You’re too cute for it.”

Let me stop you right there.

When someone first said this to me, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that such thoughts existed, especially in 2018 where it seems like everyone on the internet is talking about how people should be themselves in any shape or form – whether that’s a ballerina-powerlifting-artist combo.

"Stop pretending you're a fit chick"
“Stop pretending you’re a fit chick”

Sadly, as the saying goes, the online world isn’t real life so the positive views I carefully curate on my social media feeds are not translated into real life. That can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

Someone said it again to me recently and despite hearing it just a couple of weeks ago, my reaction was the same: shocked.

I also felt sort of attacked because if you know me, you’ll know I sing Disney songs to fill silences in my life, dress up to break hearts but equally dress down to hoodies and take pride in my drive to get stronger along with the physical results to match.


Telling someone they cannot possibly pursue bettering their body and physical strength because they have a small build, are petite, are too “girly” or princess-ey is like telling someone – oh I don’t know – that they cannot become some sort of engineer because they didn’t do a STEM degree.


Just don’t.

Trying to put people in boxes because of societal “norms” or opinions on certain types of people (i.e. so-and-so SHOULDN’T be doing x) based on something as superficial as appearance is the reason why we remain “stuck” in areas where we want to progress.

Going back to the technology sector as an example, you see “diversity needed for innovation” plastered everywhere, yet some companies aren’t because you don’t fit the box of a typical person to work in the field e.g. you don’t hold a Computer Science degree, you are not male and are from an ethnic minority. This is something I talk about ALL the time and proud to continue to work on, with growing examples from #shefcodefirst that kick that “box” down every day.

Next time someone tries to put you in a box made out of conceived thoughts, opinions about you just because of x, y, z, take it in, smile and… continue being yourself. Without. Restriction.


Do you powerlift and dedicate 5-6 days to your physical health? But also cry at The Notebook (for the 100th time), believe in fairytales, dress like a Russian Princess and are not what “people expected”?

Sound familiar? Yeah? Continue that. Shine as brightly as you can doing that, so brightly it automatically combusts the boxes others put you in. 🔥

At the end of the day, if it increases your happiness levels by something as little as 5% then it is worth it. You do you, not what others think you should be doing.

So yes, I am small and cute, but also squatting my bodyweight. Problem?


A post shared by Pauline P. Narvas ⚡️ (@paw.lean) on

Turns out that I can be girly with abs.

TL: DR – I can be whatever I want, do not put me in a box because of what you think of me. 

Has anyone ever said anything like this to you before?

12 responses to “Yup, turns out that
I can be both.”

  1. Blah, people can be so dumb! Everyone has the right to do things they like.

    1. Some people are just so judgemental and that’s fine, letting them be. It’s always how you react to it – choosing to grin and keep doing my thing 😉

  2. Ugh BARF. I can’t believe that people even think it’s okay to THINK these ignorant, short sited things. Much less SAY them. I’m sorry, but when did it become okay for anyone to comment on another person’s physique?! OR their lifestyle choice? It’s like when people caution us to ‘not lift weights’ because ‘it’ll make you bulky’. PLEASE.
    We are women. We’re intelligent. Strong. Driven. Sexy. Beautiful. Oh, and we can multitask hard AF. ALL AT THE SAME TIME!
    These ‘norms’ are archaic and insulting, and it’s time we waved them goodbye.
    You do YOU lady – you’re kicking ass!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

  3. Honestly, I do not see how someone could say that to you. I find you inspiring for the fact that you ARE very feminine as well as fit. How is a woman taking good care of herself , and wanting to look and feel good about herself a bad thing? I am struggling to lose a LOT of weight I gained within the last few years, and I DO get judged but I care not. I’m not losing weight to appease these people, but rather for myself so that I can feel good and he healthy.

    In my opinion saying negative things like that is a really good way to hurt someone’s self-esteem. Throughout all the strides we have positively taken as a society, we’re still so quick to tell someone how WE think they should live. What they can and cannot/should not do in life is no business of ours.

    Don’t listen to anything negative being said to you. You’re a wonderful woman, and kind at heart. No one can tell you what to do or how to live your life. Some people are judgmental because they’ve nothing better to do in life I suppose.

  4. I can’t believe people still think like that nowadays. I always forget how many idiots there are irl because people are generally so lovely online. Why does it even bother them when it’s not their life? It’s ridiculous.

    Fair enough if you don’t want to make your own body stronger, but there’s absolutely no reason to comment on other people’s choices. Where do these people get the energy to do that?

    Glad you’re ignoring all this bullshit, Pauline. It’s great that you’re trying to get stronger. Keep singing those Disney songs and fuck all those idiots who can’t live their life without tearing other’s down.

  5. I have heard this way too many times – mainly that I must be ugly because I play video games. I heard it so much back in my younger days when I went online for Pokemon trades etc, so much that I started believing it. It’s really sad how we tend to box people up. Isn’t this just like high school stereotypes, but adult style?

    I face a lot of sexism in the industry, but have been fortunate enough to hear some tech companies say that they want to look for diversity – what can someone bring to us? – rather than – can this person fit in? These are the kinds of people I would want to work for.

  6. I’m as shocked as you are that people are still saying things like that. Being strong and being girly aren’t mutually exclusive! You can totally be both! It’s annoying when people look to stereotypes so much because that’s just harmful and limiting. Plus, you don’t do these things for them. They really have no say on the matter.

    It’s still weird to me when people are surprised I play video games, or when people in online games are shocked to learn that I’m actually female. Girl gamers exist too, you know?

  7. I love this! I know what you are saying, I’ve experienced some of this during the years. Some people can’t believe that one person can actually hear 4inch heels and bake bread and cakes too. When I was talking about my workouts, everybody assumed I was running or doing Pilates, because, as you said, a woman with makeup can lift weights or do a 100-200 pushups.

  8. I can’t say that anyone has ever put this label on me before. BUT, kudos to you for putting them in their place. This is one of the many reasons that I have such high respect for you. <3

  9. It’s interesting how “girly” seems to be this exclusive category you can’t possibly combine with anything else. 🙄 Like you can’t be feminine and physically strong? Or feminine and into tech and computers (according to some people I’ve personally run into)? You can be a woman, that’s ok, but you have to tone it down if you have certain interests/lifestyle? It’s ridiculous and society really should’ve come further by now…

    It’s great though that you don’t fall for it. You’re not responsible for other people’s delusions, so keep on doing and being whatever you want! 💪😃

  10. You go Glen Coco!

  11. People can be anything they want as long as they’re happy and don’t harm others. If people also want to be a hella body builder and rock Cinderella’s dress, power to them too :). I’ve seen some nasty comments thrown my way and heck, better off not giving any attention to those peasants lol.

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