As I was mindlessly scrolling through my Twitter feed the other day, this one from Stephanie over at Goober Monkey caught my often wavering attention. Her tweet once again brought to the forefront of said wandering brain something that continuously pisses me off to no end, and something my running BFF’s and I deal with on many a random running occasion. I’m referring to a little – all right maybe not so little – affliction I like to call IRC. As in “the idiotic comments that people make IRC the living hell out of me”.
IRC: Idiotic Running Comments – a momentary lapse of common sense causing one to uncontrollably and/or spontaneously utter aforementioned idiotic comments upon discovering a woman larger than 100 pounds and shorter than 5’9″ has the ability to – dare I say it? – RUN. Not to take away anything from the Shalanes, Karas, and Deenas of the world, but not too many of us have the advantages or resources to have almost every bite of food prepared for us, spend our days training with a myriad of coaches, have a team of doctors available at a moment’s notice to immediately take care of whatever ails us, and, the crowning jewel of it all, get paid for it. As the genetic swimming pool has its limits, not all of us can be blessed with genes donated straight from the running gods either. Lest we not already be suffering from the inevitable bad body image illness that many a woman has suffered from – rather rationally or not – let’s take into account how many skimpy little “running” shorts and cutesy (and completely non-functional) sports bras companies like Under Armour or Nike would sell if they only had real world runners available as their models? (And yes, I’m looking at you Under Armour and your choice of a certain bitchy football star’s wife as one of your models).
Ironically, as I was putting my thoughts on this in some semblance of order, I was also debating about making the ultimate leap for a socially awkward introvert and possibly joining a local running club. As I was scrolling through the club’s pictures, I once again began to experience those old familiar feelings of irritation. Why go down that road of angst and aggravation you may ask? Well. Let me tell ya. Every picture posted of this club’s members showed tiny, thin, lean, muscley people who I’m sure never met a kale salad they didn’t like. Let there be no mistake – kudos to these people who are probably complete badasses on the pavement and in the gym, But where are the runners who, you know, don’t “look” like runners? These are the peeps that this Queen of All Things Cellulite With the Ever Expanding Waistline wants to see gracing the pages of your website. The ones who leave it all out there on the course and end up dealing with shut down water stops and a “sorry, we ran out of snacks and finisher medals”. Those are the people who would do more to encourage someone like me to give that club a try than anything else. If this world operates on looks, then put some “real world” looking people on your run club’s website and see how fast your club grows.
After looking further into this particular club, their schedule just wouldn’t work for me, so the point was moot anyway. I wonder though, if this experience was to turn me off from joining a running club, then how many others out there have felt the same way? How often has a case of the IRCs affected what had the potential to be a really good thing?
Petty as it may sound, if I’m looking for a particular piece of athletic clothing and can find it made by a company other than Under Armour, and that company has enough foresight to use models that actually have some curves to them, you can bet I’m going to take a second look. Why? IRC people. It’s real. My business with Under Armour may have been minimal at best, but it took just one ad, with one particular model, to turn me off from ever wanting to buy from that company ever again. Can you imagine what would happen if more and more people did the same thing? Under Armour would eventually have to take notice. Sadly though, just like runDisney and the massive screwing they gave us Wine and Dine night race diehards, there will always be enough hungry consumers out there that a few opinionated concrete-heads boycotting their products, will not a difference make.
Am I coming across as more and more aggravated with companies who refuse to use REAL women – women who are in just as good, if not better shape, than the so-called “fitness” models they use to peddle their wares? ABSOLUTELY. Do I hate letting my little and insignificant corner of the internet go down a negative road? ABSOLUTELY. But I think it’s important to sometimes take the time to say what so many others want to, but for whatever reason, just don’t. No worries, I got ya covered. 🙂 No offense to Ms. Hudson, but have you ever had a non-pregnancy involved fat day in your glamorous life? I’m thinking not so much. Would Fabletics advertise as much as they do and sell as many of those great outfits if she did? I doubt it. I sure know though, that I would be much more inclined to drop that kind of money if I was looking at those great patterns on say, Robyn Lawley.
If you’ve stuck with my rant this far then kudos to you for hanging in there on my latest brain vomit. Sadly, I don’t think the minds of sportswear manufacturers will ever listen to temper tantrums like this, drop their IRC-ey mind sets, and not find it necessary to consider anything more than 100 pounds, and waists bigger than 23″ a “plus” anything. Until they get hit where it counts – right in their checkbooks and stock options – it’s doubtful things will ever change. Thin-sexy sells, and in the minds of way too many, sexy is not 150 lbs.+ and under 5’9″. But have no fear my fine friends and faithful followers. Whether you’re sporting a “perfect” package or have embraced all things curvaceous, this Black Dog doesn’t give a rat’s patootie what size it says on your clothing tags. The only measurement we care about in these parts, is the size of your heart.
And maybe the margarita glass.
Enjoy the ride.
Do you find yourself getting aggravated by the constant bombardment of what’s considered the perfect body? Do you wish manufacturers would stop using super models in their ads? Do you find your friends and/or daughters are impacted by what they see in magazines or on tv?
**DON’T FORGET! (You forgot didn’t you??) I’m returning to racing on Sunday, May 8th for the WORLDWIDE (yes, WORLDWIDE) Wings for Life World Run and I need your help! Please consider donating to Team Wonder Mutt as we raise funds to help stamp out spinal cord injuries! Visit the team Wonder Mutt page here today! I promise, it won’t hurt at all! Not even just a little bit! Thanks everybody!!