In a world of skinny jeans and low-fat foods, the ladies of the CrossFit world are like a band of misfits. Their curvy bums, defined shoulders and bacon consumption represent a community of women committed to health and fitness over all else. The typically independent, brazen and motivated nature of CrossFit women may not be among the stereotypical characteristics we use to define beauty. And the tattooed bodies, odd outfits and occasional grunting go against most standards of femininity. There’s no question that the elite of this sport are sheer animals, beasts in their day-to-day doings. But does a strong physique vanquish a woman’s potential to be classified as beautiful?

Various cultures and time periods reflect endless ways in which beauty can be defined. Women in Japan consume collagen and use bird-poop facials to keep their skin youthful and smooth. The Renaissance period embraced a full-figured-female as super sexy. Some tribal women of the world don brass rings around their necks as a sign of status or aim for fully tattooed lips to achieve a desirable appearance. In boxes around the world, strength and tenacity are redefining preconceived notions about beauty. It’s not the ladies with the perfectly curled hair or the damsels in distress who leave a room awe-inspired, it’s the glistening badass babes who rocks quads of steel and a snatch (the lift, of course) that can make a grown man cry.

CrossFit is a rapidly growing, worldwide sport that’s bringing attention to a kind of beauty that has historically been deemed too masculine. But suddenly, both men and women are drawn to the look of the athlete. Lifting, muscles and an appetite for competition are becoming attractive traits, regardless of gender. With no pre-determined body type, CrossFit represents short and thick to long and lean. The sport’s spokesmodels tout dark and light complexions alike, and a rainbow of headbands hold back every color of hair imaginable. The common theme in these women: fit and fierce. Toned bodies trump emaciated frames or plastic pin-ups, and we can only hope that this trend continues.

The world needs women and young girls to envy who don’t represent a genetic lottery draw, but the look of individuals who display a healthy and attainable appearance. In the past, women like Stacie Tovar, Christmas Abbott and Andrea Ager may have lingered in the shadows, viewed as too intimidating for mainstream status. But with CrossFit in the midst of a worldwide movement focused on “strong being the new skinny,” the leading ladies of CrossFit are stealing the spotlight. They serve as inspiration and embody what beauty should be. Fitness and food should not be feared but embraced as lifelong staples. These days, PR’s are pretty, lats are lovely, and sweat is sexy. The beasts and the beauties are one and the same.