There is a reality that hit me suddenly recently. What happens when the views of a company seem to have shifted over time and your own views do not match what they are presenting? It is this reality of how do we distinguish what we believe and how we feel a company is serving us.
I am, and have been for a while, a person firm on the foundation of uplifting one another and establishing that we are strong regardless of what we look like. Our bodies will continue to change shapes and sizes throughout our entire life. And if we decided that a sport is going to be part of lives for the long haul, regardless of shape or size, we need companies that are able to meet up along the journey. Not to say that there is a perfect company out there that is doing everything 100% correctly, but there are companies that are making greater strides in the last few years.
For example, Nike displays a mannequin in London that is a traditional plus size- NOT a mannequin that is an acceptable by society larger size. Lululemon is showing more diversity among their models and quickly expanding their size ranges. Aerie has gone away with photo shopping their models and display women of all shapes and sizes. Even fabletics strives to show models at all sizes. Society is starting to talk back against the times of traditionally thin models who match one specific aesthetic to represent the fitness industry. And it is sad when a company says they are striving to be diverse in their marketing and sizing, but their actions speak louder than words.
As a consumer, I have the ability to make the decisions on what I purchase and the brands I support. As a runner, I want to support brands that will support me as an athlete who will never be a size 2 or 4, nor look like a traditional runner. I want companies that follow through on their desire to be body inclusive, to expand their sizing in a timely manner, and truly listen to what their consumers are saying. I am tired of feeling let down by companies that say one thing and do another. I am ready for a shift in the culture that says “we will strive towards empowerment of female athletes at all sizes because that is what is best, not only making a profit”. I am working through what this looks like for me personally and how it has recently impacted and shifted my perspective, as well as how it will shift my perspective moving forward.
Until next time
-Be Fearless, Go Boldly