NASCAR driver Danica Patrick took to Instagram to defend the minimal retouching of the photo of her on the cover of her new book, “Pretty Intense.” She had posted the cover image on her Instagram to announce the book’s pre-order availability, featuring a 12-week workout program she wrote and tested, mental conditioning and 50 food recipes she wrote and photographed.
💥Cover! My book is available for preorder. I have worked my ass off on it. There is 3 parts mental/physical (with 12 week workout program that I wrote and tested)/food (along with 50 recipes written and photographed by me). The more I think about it the more I think that this is just the first phase of what I hope to continue for many books to come. It’s all the things I have learned though growth in the mind and body. 🙌🏼
In the followup post responding to critics, she explained, “Many of you thought it was highly retouched and the main thing they do is even out the skin tone, mostly on the legs. I worked very hard. Anyone can be lean and muscular if they want to…..but you have to put in the work and learn how to eat right. It’s all possible, believe in yourself.”
…….because minimal retouching has been important to me with ALL the pictures, from lifestyle to fitness to food for @prettyintensebydanica …… I wanted to show you the raw image from when I was deciding which one to use for the cover. Many of you thought it was highly retouched and the main thing they do is even out the skin tone, mostly on the legs. I worked very hard. Anyone can be lean and muscular if they want to…..but you have to put in the work and learn how to eat right. It’s all possible, believe in yourself.
I love her book cover, retouched or not. When I look at it, it sends exactly the kind of message I think so many women in Charlotte need, regardless of age.
And it’s not about looking like Danica Patrick.
It’s about the way she stands tall, looking straight into the camera with a confident half-smile. She wears a relatable (if sexy) two-piece outfit not unlike the kind you see all over CrossFit studios, yoga studios and sidewalks full of joggers. And she’s not skinny-arming it here — her shoulders are rolled back and her biceps are bulging. She sends the message that strong is “pretty.”
This message isn’t new to her image. She has talked about her penchant for working out twice a day and for eating all the time — proudly living an active and healthy lifestyle. She leaves space for dessert and wine.
But Patrick sends an image and message that women need to be reminded of, even on Charlotte’s fitness scene.
I’ve heard locker room talk of how badly someone needs to work out twice today so she can fit into her bikini this weekend.
I’ve heard women claim they wouldn’t look good in yoga shorts, and others never allowing themselves sugar.
I’ve heard so many women say they’ll never be able to do a certain arm balance because they aren’t strong enough. Heck, I’ve heard that in my own head.
Patrick makes a refreshing pivot from that toxic “beach body” mentality. It’s a reminder to celebrate our gym bodies, our yoga bodies, our marathon bodies. It’s a reminder to nourish ourselves, encourage ourselves to get fit and healthy — or fitter and healthier.
It’s a reminder to even treat ourselves. And treat ourselves well.
Photo: David Becker/AP