During Storm Nemo, I strayed from the usual blogs I read… Not to replace them, of course, but I did have all that extra, snowed-in time on hand, so I thought I’d see what else was going on in the blogging community.
In my ‘travels’, I came across several blog posts on unrelated blogs, which surprised me. No, no, that is too kind of a word to use. I was left feeling sad and furious, all at the same time.
These blog posts, written by young women, made fun of joggers who run and don’t look the part. They made fun of runners who run with baggy shorts, running shoes that aren’t up to par, and unmatching outfits. One blog called such runners ‘an embarrassment’. Another blog said that joggers (a word, which the author used with disdain to describe anyone running under 6 miles an hour) might as well be sitting on the couch and eating popcorn.
Yet another blogger wrote of how she can tell the time at the gym by looking around her… She wrote about Snooze Hour (when the ‘old’ people move around the gym), The Stampede (when the ‘over-weight’ crowd arrives), The Missfits (those who don’t look the part), and Happy Hour (when the ‘real’ runners come out to play).
I was beyond upset, because there are so many women (and men) out there who are afraid to step into a gym… or to even run outside in their own neighborhoods. Because they’re afraid of being judged. They’re afraid that their body doesn’t measure up to the other runners or that their clothes aren’t good enough. And so instead of making an attempt or at least getting outside and doing what they can, they hide away and bury their desire to try.
Because suddenly, they’re not just being attacked by the magazines, commercials, and movies that portray unrealistic body images and that say ‘you’re not good enough until you look, move, and dress a certain way’. They also feel judged by those around them. By us.
To those bloggers I have to ask…
Who are you to say what a runner must look like?
Who are you to say that a runner has to move a certain speed before they shouldn’t be allowed to run at all?
Who are you to make fun of someone who is trying?
Who are any of us to do that?
So what if someone runs around town at a speed slower than you deem sufficient? They’re doing it. They’re getting out there, and moving, and getting their heart-rate up. Maybe their goal in life isn’t to win a marathon. Maybe they just want to fight off a bit of stress and burn a few calories.
Who are you to say that’s not good enough?
As women, we need to stick together and bring each other up. We need to encourage and motivate each other to see true beauty. We need to say “yes, you can” and not “no, you shouldn’t.”
So to sum this up, I will say that I understand that these bloggers are the authors of their own blogs and that they have the rights to their own opinions… And I’m sure they thought they were being clever, tongue-in-cheek, and funny.
But I also have the right to my opinion. And in my opinion, those posts are nothing short of cruel.