Skirting the truth

This article made its way through my twitter feed last night and it really had me shaking my head:

Skirts bring feminine look to women’s workouts

Disclaimer: I don’t have anything against running skirts.  They’re not my style, but I don’t think they’re evil or stupid or anything.  Lots of women like ’em because they’re comfortable or cute or whatever.   Great!

No, it’s the hilarious writing in this article that made me roll my eyes.  Let’s see:

In sports and other serious matters of life, it’s considered an insult to “act like a girl,” look like a girl or perform like a girl. And there’s a prevailing stereotype that successful women athletes have to be rugged and sturdy-looking to be effective, and a large portion of them incidentally live up to those expectations.

Huh?  In running particularly, elite women are often anything but “sturdy looking.”  They are teeny tiny.  Muscular, but tiny.

Faces are scrubbed raw, clothing is efficiently nondescript, hair is haphazardly restrained and mannerisms are defiantly mannish.

Sorry for not sporting makeup and a totally polished ponytail when I run.  Given that I dumped a cup of water over my head at one point of Saturday’s race to cool off, I really was not thinking about my complexion or coif.  I mean, really?  Are we supposed to care about this?

Defiant!  And most definitely mannish!  *burp and crotch scratch*


The defeminization of women in sports became so pronounced that in recent years, international sports bodies such as the Olympics have struggled with how to actually implement testing to ensure that the women are biologically female.

This has nothing to do with the fact that most runners don’t curl their lashes before a race.  It has everything to do with performance-enhancing drugs and procedures.  Fail.

However, one emerging trend is attempting to put an end to androgyny in sports.  The proliferation of unisex, one-gender-fits-all athletic apparel is being flouted by the sports skirt.

Oh good, because I’m tired of having to buy all of my running shorts in the men’s section.  Seriously?  WTF?  Women’s running clothes have existed for decades.

It really seems like the writer of this article was trying to create some sort of long-standing conspiracy against femininity in order to make her article more exciting.  And it kind of ticked me off.  I don’t want to be expected to look cute and “feminine” – by the author’s definition – when I’m working out.

For those who do – or who find a skirt more comfy or practical – then rock on.  I’m glad there option is there.  And clearly, women’s sports apparel has come a long way since the days when competitive running was strictly a boys game.  But let’s not pretend that those evil Nike Tempo shorts are somehow taking our femininity away.  That’s as dumb as saying that because most gals run around town in jeans or pants these days, they’re less feminine than their dresses-and-pearls counterparts from the 1950s.

Because I, for one, feel perfectly feminine trotting along in my shorts and tank top.  It’s me.  Do I run like a girl?  Hell yes.  I’m a girl and a runner and I don’t need a skirt to remind me of that.

Every so often, the craving strikes.  And I respect it.  I needed some Mickey D’s tonight!
However, it’s possible to eat fast food and not totally blow it!  Like tonight, I savored a small cheeseburger and small fries.  According to the helpful menu board, this is about 530 calories.  Which is a totally normal amount for a meal, at least in my world.
My tips for eating fast food, quasi-healthy-style:
  • Get a kids meal.  This is basically what I did tonight.  A plain hamburger or cheeseburger really ain’t so bad for ya, and the little envelope of fries is pretty small!
  • Pick one thing to splurge on.  If that small, flat burger is really not appealing, then go for the Bacon Whopper.  But skip the fries.
  • Augment.  Tonight I had a hearty snack of bananas and greek yogurt shortly after my McD’s.  Because the small burger and fries didn’t really fill me up.  But they satisfied the craving, and my healthy snack topped off my belly.
  • Eat slowly.  There is no reason to shove four fries or an entire chicken nugget in to your mouth at once.  Nibble. Chew. Savor.
  • If it’s worth it, go all out.  On certain occasions, there is no way I’m holding back.  Like if I’m at In-n-Out?  You can bet I’m stuffing my face.  Because I only get to eat there like once a year.  Sad face.

Today’s DRINK:  No drink-on tonight.  We’re out of…well, everything.  Sad face again.

Today’s RUN: An easy five-miler out on the Hudson this morning.  It was kind of a weird run: for the first mile or so, I was really dragging ass.  Then I guess I woke up or something, because I suddenly felt great!  I definitely picked up the pace a bit and really had to focus on keeping it slow(ish).  I finished in just over 40:00, a hair over 8:00 pace.
Today’s QUESTIONWhat’s your take on running skirts? For, against, or who-gives-a-crap?

18 responses to “Skirting the truth

  1. What a double standard. We’re supposed to look cute and feminine and guys can look like ass while exercising and not be criticized? Pffft!!

    I wear normal workout clothes and I pull my hair back in a ponytail. I do not wear makeup. It would streak and I’d look like a tranny I think. I’m okay with that. 😉

  2. Whoever wrote that article is 5 years too late. The tone of the article kinda seemed like she just discovered that running skirts existed, or something like that.

    I admittedly am a running skirt fan-and was actually one of the first of my friends/teammates to wear them. However, I also have a $hitload of Nike Tempo shorts in a rainbow of colors too 🙂 For me it’s more about variety than the need to “look more feminine.” And sometimes I do find the skirts to be practical on long runs (as they have pockets to hold gels, Metrocard, etc.) That said, I have dealt with a coupla “wardrobe malfunctions” when wearing them…but hey, the same thing can happen with shorts too, no? 🙂

    • Yeah, it totally seems like the writer is not a runner or has any clue of what’s going on in the running world. Running skirts are not exactly a new trend!

      Glad you love rockin’ both the skirts and the shorts! 🙂

  3. Fact: more people find my blog googling “i hate running skirts” than anything else. ;p

    My opinion is obvious and I can’t add anything to your excellent points above.

  4. i think running skirts are the devil.
    in a skirt.

  5. I don’t get the skirt thing, but free to be you and me.

  6. They look effing ridiculous. I maintain my femininity while running by nipping out constantly.

    I hope my dad doesn’t read this.

  7. I don’t get the “whole” skirt thing.

  8. I don’t hate running skirts, I can see why someone might want to wear one. You won’t find me wearing one though, I might consider it if they look ridiculous on me.

  9. I actually read this article when you tweeted it the other night, and it had me laughing. I shared it with my fiancé, and he said maybe he’ll start running in a skirt – that’ll show the writer of this article!

  10. #1 – I am now having McD’s for lunch. Thanks for the idea/craving!!!

    #2 – I have a Lulu running skirt. I love it. I haven’t worn it running yet as I am still scared of the chub rub, but I love it on a warm day just to wear around with a cute tank.

  11. I do in fact own a lululemom running skirt but have never (and will never) wear it while running. I think they look stupid, except if you work at lulu and wanna look cute on the job (my purpose for this purchase) or on Halloween as a queen bee (another awesome usage of a ridiculous piece of “athletic” clothing).

  12. I totally hate those fugly things. They make me kind of mad for no reason at all.

  13. As a woman in her mid-30’s who is new to running — I love the running skirt. I’ve run in shorts and a skirts (admittedly, not long in either, just started in January) and I am more comfortable in the skirt. I do *not* care if I look more feminine, but I want to be covered (2 kids and genetics are not on my side). Even though I’m not over weight, my thighs rub together, which leads to shorts riding up, which leads to weird adjusting while I run or annoying rubbing. The running skirts don’t ride up and I can just run. Seriously the red-face and trouble breathing is not sexy, but I’m getting better each run — healthy and strong *after* I run, very sexy. Running – not so much, but that’s not why I started running.

    • Well, *I* think the red face is sexy. At least I hope so, cause it’s a look I sport very often. 🙂

      Congrats on starting running – it makes me so happy when I hear about people getting in to the sport I love!

  14. I think the skirts are very cute however I have fat legs and don’t do short skirts or shorts so yeah, not for me but I love seeing them.

    And nothing wrong with McDonalds. I get a craving for one of their meals every few months and give in. I figure every now and then isn’t bad at all.

  15. Pingback: What I really think about Team in Training « Washington Ran Here

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