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.

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.”

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

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately, social media is full of jerks who do nothing all day but find something to complain about. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Danica Patrick’s talent on the track she is a strong, confident woman who had the guts to go out and make a life for herself, despite the constant barrage of harsh words by critics and so-called NASCAR fans putting her down for everything she says, everything she does and then even complain when she stands up for herself to the faces of the bullies who think they have the right to taunt her. At the end of the day I’d rather be like DP than any of the social media or NASCAR bullies that can’t seem to just appreciate her for who and what she is and would rather try to knock her down.

  2. I really wish she would do more racing and not so much yoga on the beach and a cook book how about cooking up a top 5on the race track. i’m just saying.

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