Using my leadership role to positively influence my community
My name is Rachel Fackoury. I am a white, cisgender woman, raised in an upper-class family, a graduate from the University of Toronto, and live on my own in a rental condo downtown Toronto. To say I check off all the boxes would be an understatement. As I navigate my place in the fitness industry and society as a whole, I recognize that I am in a position to be a leader, to influence others, and voice my opinions. I do however, have to understand my experiences and struggles, although can’t be made small, are definitely not the same of most. Today, I wanted to try and shed a little bit of light on this matter, acknowledging that while I am entitled to my views, many others may not fully be able to relate.
This conversation is simply a starting point that I hope gets more people recognizing that there are so many different people with different experiences. A reminder that as much as some of us have a platform to share and inspire, our experiences do not reflect the majority of others.
Take for example, me saying, ‘It’s okay to not have 6-pack abs, that photos on IG don’t have to be perfect”. Coming from a fit white female however, I know it is easier for me to say something like this because while I can make this statement, I am NOT typically the one suffering from the comments or backlash. Those in larger bodies, with skin that is not white, are most likely suffering. Yes, traditionally ‘fit’ people can still receive backlash but it is often those deemed “too” small or large that suffer the most. I recognize that my issues may not be the same as others and although I will never be able to fully understand anyone else’s individual struggles, I hope I can better use my position of leadership to support my clients and the community around me.
I have always been one to raise my voice, stand my ground, and tell you my opinion. I have never shied away from not having the most popular view or been afraid of not being liked. I will continue to share in hopes that I can reach more people who also agree with me, all while trying to be more open to understanding those who may disagree, have different experiences, or see things from a different perspective.
No one’s struggles are better than, worse than, or more important than someone else’s. However, those in positions like me must understand that our struggles and experiences are vastly different than those around us. I appreciate the opportunities I have received, knowing that I have still worked extremely hard to get where I am today. It is time that we begin to also use our platforms and leadership positions to highlight and celebrate those who for whatever societal reason aren’t receiving the recognition they deserve. Continue to share, post and inspire, but begin to open up your mind to new ideals, struggles, and points of view.
Yours in self-discovery,