It is WARM here in New Jersey! Almost too warm. It seems like we skipped over spring and headed straight into summer. I’m not complaining. I’m simply observing.
In anticipation of serious summer heat, I’ve decided that Summer 2015 will be the summer of bun huggers. Not these bun huggers:
Or these bun huggers:
These bun huggers:
I’ve considered buying a pair of competition briefs since last summer. At first I felt ridiculous even entertaining the idea, because I am not, nor will I ever be an elite runner. You hardly ever see women wearing competition briefs at local 5K races. Even the really fast women running 17 and 18 minute 5Ks wear shorts. Then I got to thinking: When I used to figure skate, I wore the same spangly, expensive costumes all the elite skaters did. Even though I only ever won anything at the regional level, my dresses were just as fancy (and functional) as the dresses worn by women competing in the Olympics. Costumes were a large part of what made skating competitions so fun.
In running, however, there’s this belief that you have to perform at the elite level to wear elite level clothing. But I believe the opposite is true. You gotta fake it ’til you make it. So I say, “Fake away!”
In all seriousness, I want to race in briefs for no other reason than I want to run free, in as little restrictive clothing as possible. I don’t especially care to show off my rear end or psyche people out at the starting line. (Hey guys, you might think I’m here to smoke you all with my smoking hot buns, but, I promise: I probably won’t.) Running in shorts, even lightweight boy shorts, really irritates my hips sometimes. Whenever I run in actual bikini bottoms at the beach it is heaven. Why should I limit myself to feeling good only when I’m at the beach? There is a reason why elite female runners race in briefs: they are less restrictive and thereby enhance comfort, if not performance. Why shouldn’t all female runners feel like they can race in briefs, regardless of their body size/shape and/or athletic ability? We’re all runners. We should all feel comfortable taking the same initiatives to run as fast as we can.
Sadly, speed isn’t the only issue I’ve had to consider when considering whether or not to buy a pair of racing briefs. It’s been spring for, like, three weeks and already I’ve caught two men taking iPhone videos of me while I’ve been out training. Their preferred strategy is to drive up behind me and linger a bit before swinging around to capture the full panorama. It’s disgusting and the implications are outright horrifying. But I will never, ever let someone else’s poor behavior dictate what I wear, the way I train, or how I feel about my body.
Everybody’s butt jiggles while running, but women’s butts are particularly, societally prone to sexualization. So when a female athlete decides to wear less/less restrictive clothing in order to train at a higher level, some men fantasize she’s not only dressing to impress; she must be running for the sole purpose of flouncing around as a sex object. Unfortunately, running in bun huggers is not just an issue of speed or body image. It is also an issue of safety. As soon as my briefs arrive, I’m taking them out on a training run (I never race in anything I haven’t trained in). I will be running with a buddy for back-up in case I experience any sort of sexual harassment.
I wrote an article for Huffington Post a while back about snobbery in the fitness and running communities (specifically as it pertains to attitudes regarding training apparel). Most runners are very down-to-earth but many can be extremely judgmental about other people’s clothing. I’m just one person, but I truly believe in doing whatever I can to shift the atmosphere around me. So even though my pancake butt and I only race a 21 minute 5K, I plan on rocking runderwear whenever it’s hot & humid/I feel like it.