I almost think it is ridiculous that I feel SO compelled to respond to this, but I just cannot let this one pass me by.
In the newest issue of Runner’s World, there is a very interesting article that explores the more fashionable side of women’s running. In short, the article is about how the look of women’s running attire is migrating from side split shorts and singlets to running skirts and brightly-colored arm warmers.
No big deal, right? Ha. Surprisingly, this issue is creating a lot of debate, and some of the comments are getting just down-right nasty.
For reference, I will give you my personal opinion. As long as you are appropriately covered, I do not care at all what you wear. All I ask is that you keep your lady-bits and man-stuff covered so that I don’t have to see them when running next to you. However, the color or pattern of the fabric you choose to do so is of no concern whatsoever to me. Whether you decide to color-coordinate or not is completely inconsequential to me and my personal performance. Will rocking a cute running skirt cause me to cringe and take you less seriously? Heck no. Odds are, you are still moving faster than me anyway. (And if you are dude in one, I might just give you a high five!)
Photo courtesy of Skirt Sports (Race Belt Skirt)
In general, my issue is not with the article. My concern was really over the comments left regarding this article. I was shocked
at how negative some of these people (mostly women) were. And if you were one of those women and you have now somehow made your way to my little blog and are reading this, I have three words for you…SHAME ON YOU
Here are some excerpts from just a few of the comments left on runnersworld.com
“NO NO NO. As a woman I am sick and tired of being told to embrace my feminine side. Running is not about fashion, it’s about just running, or gutting out the 32k training run, or busting your butt at the track doing speed work, finding some inner peace on the trails, or just enjoying a run.” ~ himantura
“…and why would you feel bad about the way you look if your running? Let me guess, your casually jogging 3 times a week? and yes, I AM going there.” ~ CassC9
“Woo hoo look at MEEEE. I’m a middle child and didn’t get enough attention growing up.” ~ aponi
“i found this article to be extremely frustrating…it’s not enough to be out there logging the miles and setting new PR’s, now we have to be “stunners” too?” ~ themausischasingme
“This is what I get out of this article: women have a low self-image so they need to look “pretty” to get attention because they can’t do it on merit and are dumb enough to spend oodles of money to do so.” ~ sportbikeless
What is with these women? What in the world has their runner panties in such a bunch that they have to be so unsupportive? Why be so negative? I just do not understand. Look, I get it if running skirts, arm warmers, and colored compression socks are not your thing…that’s totally fine. Just don’t buy them. But to rag on someone else because that is what makes them feel good? That is just immature and petty. We aren’t in high school anymore, ladies, and the elitist attitudes need to go…now.
Photo courtesy of Brooks Running (Infiniti Track Jacket)
I am a girl…a very girly-girl, in fact. I have a job that does not require me to dress up at all. However, I do so because I like it. I wear make-up, fix my hair, and wear cute tops…to a chemical plant…because I like it and that is what makes me feel good. The same is applied to my running clothes. I wear the “cute” clothes because I like them…not because I feel like I have some uber-girly sexpot image I have to live up to. When I get new running clothes that I like and make me feel good, I am more likely to wear them…usually meaning more/longer workouts, resulting in a higher weekly mileage. I don’t have a stank attitude when I see a woman running in cotton yoga pants and a t-shirt because that is her prerogative. Personally, I would die from heat in head-to-toe cotton, but whatever, as long as she is outside and exercising, more power to her. Oh, and the BEST part about these “cute” running clothes is that, not only are they attractive, but they are functional too! Best of both worlds! Why hate on that??
I think the comment that got to me the most was by CassC9. I mean, really, who the heck do you think you are? YOU are everything that is wrong here.
You talk about the clothing being demeaning and demoralizing to women, but how about your attitude and the way you are look down on others? It is people like YOU that discourage others from taking up this sport or from even trying. If a cute outfit is the ticket to motivating a woman to get off the couch and start taking strides to improve her health and find her inner champion, than so be it. Shame on you for being so discouraging.
Photo courtesy of CEP Compression. I want every color!
I will have you know that while training for my marathon, I rocked cute outfits on every training run and race. And yes, now that I am pregnant and I am “only” a 3 to 4 time per week runner, I am STILL rocking my cute running clothes. And next year, after the baby arrives, when I start training for my first ultramarathon, I will be running proudly in my running skirts and arm warmers. Sorry, CassC9, it is time to step down from the high-horse and get over yourself.
And, last but not least, do I even need to mention Flo Jo
? The woman ran with brightly painted talons and in one-legged track kits. And you know what else? She was also a world champion athlete. How about Venus Williams
? While she is not a runner, she is a famous tennis player who is also known for her eclectic sense of style. Does the fact that she wears lacey or ruffled (sometimes both at the same time) outfits make her any less of a badass on the court? No, ma’am, it does not.
I think these female nay-sayers should be more concerned about their own training and performance and less concerned with the woman wearing a running skirt or tu-tu. Who knows, before too long, that tu-tu could be passing them by.
Call them fastinistas, stunners, or whatever else you want…but make sure you call those women “athletes” too.
What are YOUR thoughts on this?