This post was originally published on November 13, 2016 on SheUnplugged
Open up the covers of your popular fitness magazines and it’s quite difficult to find girls that represent us melanated queens. It’s even harder to find realistic fitness gurus. As a melanated Latina, I’ve always been one of the only “brown girls” in many of my fitness classes. Moreover, if you are a Latina in the industry, people automatically assume you teach Zumba. There’s nothing wrong with Zumba, but why can’t I just be a Latina who lifts?
But finally brown girls are becoming more mainstream (as we should), and more widely represented in the fitness industry. One of the women leading this revolution is none other than trainer Massy Arias. Massiel “Massy” Indhira Arias, is a 27 year old fitness queen hailing from the Dominican Republic. Often posting in Spanish and English, she believes you can achieve anything with the right type of dedication. As a result, she has become a role model in the Latino community, and even graced the cover of Latina’s May 2016 issue.
She “sets the example of how adopting a healthy diet and active lifestyle can change individual lives mentally, physically, and spiritually.” With over 2 million followers on Instagram she uplifts the spirits of her many adoring fans, primarily of Black and Latina descent, with just her words. Talk about influence. But what’s more inspiring is how fitness changed her life.
Following a bad break up with her boyfriend, Massy suffered through serious depression and extreme body insecurity. This lead to devastating hair and weight loss. However, exercise made her stronger and confident, which inspired her to start using Instagram in 2012 under the username @Mankofit. She transformed into the self-taught fitness freak we love today, well versed in her craft as she studied to become a certified personal trainer.
In an interview with Vibe magazine and stated
“A lot of people don’t realize that you don’t have to go to the gym to be healthy. You have to find ways of being active that make you happy.”
This couldn’t be any more true, and has even motivated me to find creative ways to stay fit on my own. (Check out our Fall Fitness Tips) Her honesty and real life approach is something I can get down with and is the key to her following. I’m proud to have a melanated Latina out there doing werk and representing us brown girls.
Follow Massy Arias and stay updated on all things fitness!
Facebook: Manko Fit
Don’t Forget to Check out Ten Ways to Reach your Fitness Goals
Featured image: BET.com