I've been wanting to post about this for a while, but I've been so busy lately, that I've not been able to. With today's DUMB FLEET FEET MOMENT, I thought this was the right time to post about this other DUMB FLEET FEET MOMENT that totally infuriated me.
A few months ago, I was driving down Western and passed the Lincoln Square Fleet Feet. This advertisement was in one of their windows (forgive the quality--these were taken through my car window in the winter):
It's a Saucony ad for a shoe. It features a man running.
"A 10oz WRECKING BALL to Break Through the Wall."
So I get it, so it is a light shoe, and when you are about to hit your physical wall, these shoes will help you get through it. Cool.
This was in the other window:
It features a woman running.
"The further you go, THE BIGGER THE SUNDAE."
EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS WRONG.
For one, rewarding yourself with food is a bad habit to get into, and the concept of "I worked out so I deserve this X" is bullshit. It's a much bigger topic than I can even get into right now, and so many people have done it better than me before.
For an athletic store to promote this way of thinking is irresponsible.
Secondly, why does this have to be the message on the WOMEN's shoe ad? Does Saucony (and subsequently Fleet Feet for posting the advertisement) think that the only reason women work out is because we want to lose weight? Sure, a lot of women do, but a lot of MEN do, too. And in reality, I know a TON of women runners, and do you know why they run? Because they are badasses, because they are determined, because they are overcoming great obstacles, because it makes them feel good, because it can be both an independent and communal experience, because they challenge themselves to be the best they can be. Women runners are strong and powerful. Hardqore. Tougher than nails. And we would also love to depend on a 10oz wrecking ball to break through the wall, too-- and one that ISN'T pink, might I add.
Think about what a more powerful message and ad campaign this would be if it said something like:
"A force as powerful as you are."
YES! I want those shoes!
Instead, Saucony and Fleet Feet are perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes and shaming women into feeling like we all must meet a stupid societal image of weight, health and fitness, and that the only reason we should work out is so we can eat ice cream.
I would like to think that the companies that encourage health and fitness would be the ones who would try to stop this damaging and outdated message, but I guess I am wrong.
WE have to be the ones to fight it.