One of Us: The Amanda Bingson Interview
When I first saw the story about Olympic hammer thrower Amanda Bingson being selected as one of the cover models for the 2015 ESPN body issue, I knew we had to share her story with our readers. Amanda’s confidence is infectious, and the hope she instills in others is inspiring.
Since making the cover, Amanda has seen a lot of the spotlight, but despite the newfound fame, she stays grounded and genuine. She’s doing a great job representing strength athletes and challenging stereotypes. So I’m honored to bring you this interview. I think most of our readers will easily relate to Amanda—after all, she’s one of us.
The public’s response to your recent photo shoot and interview in ESPN Magazine’s Body Issue has been remarkable. Did you expect it to have such a huge impact? No! If you would have told me back in May that I would going to Fashion week in New York and working with the top designers in the plus size fashion industries, I would have laughed you out of the room. This whole experience has been so eye opening to me because I never knew or rather realized the lack of representatives the average size woman has. I never looked to social media or the tabloids to tell me what is pretty or what looks good because when I was growing up, I didn’t see anyone on the movie screen or magazines that I could relate to, so I just stopped looking. I am one of the lucky ones that accepted my difference as not bad or good—just different.
Your confidence inspires a great number of people. Who do you look to when you’re in need of inspiration? I just look at the normal 9-5 individual that I see at the store, or working the counter every day. I look at teachers, our military, police/ fire departments, doctors, and nurses for motivation because day in and day out they are working to make the world a better place. So I think about them and how they get little to no recognition, so who am I to take my opportunities and be so selfish?
When you have feelings of discouragement, as we all do, how do you snap yourself out of it? Honestly, I just tell myself to get over it, or fix it. No one is going to help you more than you. If I can fix the situation that is discouraging me, then I do it and get over it. If I can’t do anything about it, then deal and move on, and if all else fails, crack open a cold one with friends.
What’s the biggest misconception the public has about female strength athletes? The public view on strength athletes have dramatically changed since I have been competing. Mostly the stereotypes were: we all like girls, have short haircuts, and want to be men. Now, we see “strength is sexy” and it’s something to aspire to be. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be a trophy wife—I’d rather be the wife who brings home the trophy.
Any advice for young women interested in strength athletics who might be lacking the confidence to give it a try? I am a strong believer in “screw people in what they think,” so do what makes you feel good. If you want to try something new, then damn anyone who says you shouldn’t. You should never let anyone dictate how you feel about yourself.
I love your quote about celebrating a gold medal win in the manner of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Are you a wrestling fan, or was that just a cultural reference? Hell yeah, I am fan, and I don’t know a redneck who isn’t! I grew up watching Chyna and Lita, and I still think they are bad ass. They definitely didn’t give a damn about what others thought of them, and they could go toe to toe with boys (or so they wrote it that way 😉 ).
If you couldn’t compete in hammer throw, what would you be doing? I haven’t thought that far ahead. Probably move back in with my parents in Vegas, sleep till noon, play with my dog, and hit the classifieds. JK. I would want to stay in athletics or go back to school for my beauticians license and open up my own salon and spa. That was after all my dream before I realized I could throw the hammer this far.
For more information on Amanda, check out the following sites:
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