This invitation arrived in my inbox yesterday. Often, the emails and newsletters I get from the New York Road Runners are useful or interesting and alert me to things going on in the NYC running community that I may want to be a part of or, at the very least, know about. I guess it’s good to know about this event, but I don’t have any desire to be a part of it.
I don’t know, part of me wonders if I’m being a bit curmudgeonly here. But another part of me, and clearly the bigger part of me, since I’ve decided to write this post, is really annoyed by this invitation. It bothers me that it plays right into and perpetuates the stereotype that women are enticed by pretty things. There’s no mention of function, performance, or comfort, which are the first few things I look for in any piece of apparel (price is also up there); there’s no reference to innovation or new wicking technology, or anything that references women in sports being athletes who may want something more than “fashionable” clothes to wear while working out. I can honestly say that I’ve never wondered how to dress fashionably for Spring sports, or Winter, Summer, or Fall sports for that matter. But I have wondered which pair of running capris is going to be the best performance for my money, what the best way to dress for a long run or a marathon is, and how to choose the right shoes. You know, practical things that I guess ladies don’t normally think about.
If this event had been primarily marketed as a way to transition from Winter to Spring running as mentioned in the second part of the invitation, I’d be much more interested in going. I mean, this year is not the first that I’ll be running through that transition period, but it’s always fun to hear new tips and techniques. If the fashion aspect had been mentioned as just one of several components of the event (for instance, if the invitation had also mentioned performance, or quality, or function, or ANYTHING that could count as a nod to the fact that women consider criteria other than looking good when buying their fitness apparel), I’d be much more interested in going. Instead I find NYRR’s approach here to be pretty tone deaf. I wonder (and in a curious way, not an I-bet-this-would-be-different-because-they-obviously-just-hate-women kind of way) if a similar even geared toward men would be marketed in such a one-dimensional, cliché-reliant way?
I know that there are women who do like to look good while they are working out, and I’m not trying to belittle or insult that at all. Just like plucking one’s eyebrows, choosing to wear fashionable workout clothing is entirely personal, and I completely respect anyone who has a different approach than I do. But I would still think that even workout apparel fashionistas would be interested in more than just how a piece looks. It disappoints me that NYRR wouldn’t take the chance to make mention of that at all, and instead just use a tired old stereotype to promote their event.
Embrace:Me 30-day challenge day 8: Today (well, tonight, I guess) I will be doing something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, and that is to write down some affirmations. It seems a little bit new-agey and kind of Stuart Smalley-esque which may be why I’ve put it off for so long, but I know that having some affirmations to turn to would definitely help at times when I feel like my negative self-talk is getting the best of me!
- Big butt runner (icametorun.com)