“Don’t strive for ‘perfection’ or compare yourself to anyone else – just focus on being your best and embrace being YOU!!!”
We want to challenge the running/fitness industry leaders and media creators to expand their vision of #whatarunnerlookslike*.
Unhealthy media has created a society that teaches women their worth is in their physical appearance and stresses a beauty ideal that is unattainable by the vast majority of women.
Instead of aiming to be a certain shape, size or weight to meet a beauty standard, we encourage women and girls everywhere to be the best and healthiest version of themselves!
Our mission is to educate and inspire people to choose health and wellness over our culture’s harmful obsession with having the “perfect” runner’s body type or shape.
After giving birth to my second child, I found it a lot harder to keep the momentum going with my running and fitness so my husband and I created Women’s Running Community (WRC) on Facebook and Instagram – a place where women can come together to celebrate and get encouragement, motivation, inspiration, advice, tips and support on all things running and fitness related. Since then WRC steadily grew to over 189K followers through various platforms.
Over the past couple of years we have loved seeing and reading all the inspirational images/stories from the women of WRC. However, as we read more and more of their stories we also noticed a somewhat disturbing trend or mindset…..the “I’m not good enough” mindset – I’m not skinny enough. I’m not fast enough. I’m not curvy enough. Whether it be our looks, our bodies, our thoughts, our parenting skills, or our speed, there’s always something we wish we could change. There’s always something we think we could do better, something we wish we were more of and something we wish we didn’t have. My big arms. My stretch marks. The post-baby belly that just won’t budge no matter how many sit-ups or planks I perform.
Enough is enough. No body is perfect! Bodies change. Bodies grow. Bodies shrink. No one has the perfect life, face, body, relationship or family, etc. We’re all just imperfect humans. For this reason we wanted to re-design our website to show women runners everywhere that they don’t have to feel inferior just because they don’t have “X” body type or run “X” miles per min. A woman shouldn’t be exercising to make someone else think she looks good. Being healthy shouldn’t be about making others jealous or to prove a point. A woman should exercise because it makes her happy, feel good, strong and because she wants to live a healthy life for HER.
We know there are a lot of ‘body positive’ sites out there and we were pretty certain that a website that focus on body-positive running and fitness has already been created but despite our somewhat extensive research, we couldn’t find one. However, we did come across this awesome website – The Yoga and Body Image Coalition. We love everything about the YBIC’s website, their vision/mission/core values and their hashtag #whatayogilookslike and wanted to create a movement/website similar to them but targeting women runners.
In partnership, we have taken on the aims of The Yoga and Body Image Coalition at WRC by embracing some of their following “core values.”
- We believe that [running] should be accessible to all women, cultures, sizes, ages and abilities.
- We believe that if you run then you have a runner’s body and every body is worthy of love.
- We believe in eradicating negative self-talk and body shaming.
- We believe that women can and should be empowered [through running].
- We believe that the slogan, “love your body,” is a fully-dimensional mantra promoting body acceptance in ourselves and each other.
- We believe that body-positivity is more than a meme, #hashtag, marketing slogan, or commodity—it’s conscious action and lived practice.
- We believe in using informed marketing and messaging as related to diverse, inclusive and body-positive media content in language and imagery.
- We believe media literacy education is key in deconstructing and creating new media to replace harmful images and messaging.
- We believe that we should focus on what our bodies can do – not what it looks like.
- We believe that instead of aiming to be a certain shape, size or weight to meet a beauty standard, we should aim to be the best and healthiest version of ourselves!
- We believe running isn’t a punishment; it’s a blessing.
- We believe nutrition isn’t restrictive; it’s healing.
- We believe health isn’t a one-size-fits-al thing and may not look the same for everyone, but it’s something worth fighting for.
With a reach of over 100K followers through various social media platforms, Women’s Running Community (WRC) is dedicated to spreading positivity and promoting an all-inclusive idea of health and wellness for women across the world!
We invite you to share your running, health or fitness journey/story by submitting your #WhatARunnerLooksLike story here – let’s show the world that a runner is someone who is striving to be the best and healthiest version of herself and that no one body type, shape, size, culture or weight is more worthy of respect, love and acceptance than another. Health, beauty, and wellness come in many forms!
*Inspired by the #whatayogilookslike movement from Yoga & Body Image Coalition
Who We Are
Jenny & Manttee (Founders)
Our Story: Hi and welcome! My name is Jenny and I’m a stay at home mom of two (5 yo and a 2 y/o) – so things can get pretty crazy in our home. I have always enjoy running since I was a teenager, never was on the track team or anything like that, it was just my way to relieve stress, my quiet time, and a way to better my health. This is my husband Manttee, and he’s in charge of the tech support, marketing, advertising and income stuff for WRC. Plus he’s a great father and I like him. He ran track in high school and though he no longer runs competitively, he now runs for his fitness and health. During the warmer months, he loves taking the kids on his short runs in their stroller after work. As a family, we try to be as active as we can. Apart from running, we also enjoy playing basketball together, volleyball, hiking, traveling and snowboarding. We realized life with young children and trying to stay active or doing things which we enjoyed can get difficult at times, and being able to lace up my shoes and run can be really tough and requires some sacrifices . That’s one of the main reasons why we founded WRC – a place for motivation, encouragement, where we can help one another out, share our struggles and successes, a place to share ways and ideas to help me continue running.
Why I love running: (J) Because running is my “ME” time, my sanity and it allows me to be a better wife and mother.
(M) I love being healthy and fit. I especially love running outside because it allows me to soak in God’s beautiful creation.
My favorite running product/apparel/gear: (J) Currently I would say my running shoes. For the past 2 1/2 months I wasn’t able to run due to a severe high ankle sprain so being able to put on my running shoes and run again this past week was like the best feeling ever.
(M) Definitely my foam roller….it hurts so good.
My favorite running tune: (J) This is a tough one. I actually don’t really have one because most of time I like to run without any music.
(M) My favorite running tune changes all the time but currently it is “How Wonderful Life Is” from Moulin Rouge
If I could run with one person, living or dead, it would be: (J) Probably more like a slow long run/walk with my paternal grandmother. She died before I was born so I never had the chance to meet her.
(M) Thomas Edison. I would love to learn from a man who never let failures stop him from succeeding.
My favorite food: (J) Som Tam (Lao papaya salad).
Three things on my bucket list are: (J) 1) Travel around the world 2) Have my own art studio 3) To one day have the opportunity to volunteer in some type of humanitarian mission/work.
(M) 1) Travel to Europe 2) To beat Jenny in snowboarding one day 3) (This maybe a long shot since Jenny already said that she doesn’t want to do this) To participate in the Amazing Race with Jenny
My favorite motivational quote: (J) “Never give in! Never surrender! Never allow despair to overcome your spirit!” ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
(M) “The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” -Thomas S. Monson