Why was Women’s Running Community (WRC) created?
Women’s Running Community (WRC) was created to inspire girls and women to choose health and wellness over our culture’s harmful obsession with having the “perfect” runner’s body type, weight or shape. Our goal is to educate the world that health, beauty, and wellness come in many forms and that no one body type, shape, size, culture or weight is more worthy of respect, love and acceptance than another. We want to challenge the industry leaders and media creators to expand their vision of what a runner or being healthy looks like.
How does media publication and advertising affect women’s body image?
In our society, we are exposed to approximately 10 hours of media EVERY day! We see images of “perfect” bodies all around us, on television, in movies, in newspaper, fitness magazine ads and online. Based on the average model in the media, one may assume that to be perfect in the eyes of society, a woman needs to be 5’10” and weigh only 120 pounds. Given that the National Center for Health Statistics reports that the average American woman is about 5’4” and weighs about 169 pounds, there is a big discrepancy. Of course, the media also tells us that the ideal woman should be young and somewhat athletic, have no physical disabilities, and that her intelligence and personality do not matter as much as her physical attractiveness. Society’s expectations color our beliefs about the “ideal body” image and this can create a lasting impression in our subconscious that we aren’t pretty enough, skinny enough, strong enough, curvy enough, fit enough, etc. The media’s core message is that you are lacking! This in return drives our impulse to purchase products that promise to help “fix us.” The beauty industry uses this to their advantage and cultivates beauty ideals that stress the importance of a woman’s appearance above all else, in order to make a profit. As a result our mind, bodies, and spirits have suffered dramatically.
What does a woman runner’s body look like?
Everyone has a slightly different idea of the ideal runner’s body image but we are heavily influenced by societal pressures and the media. Take a look at most running, health or fitness magazines at grocery store check-out lines or publications online. It’s no surprise that when we think of a runner’s or healthy body, we have a tendency to picture almost flawless bodies. Due to the constant exposure to this type of message, we’ve been conditioned to believe that there is only one specific “look” that determines if a person has a runner’s body. In fact we are conditioned to believe that being healthy is solely based on looks alone.
At Women’s Running Community (WRC), we are working to show that it does not matter what your body looks like, or what shape or size it is. If you have a mind that tells your body to keep pushing and a heart that loves running, then you HAVE a runner’s body!
In addition, being healthy or being a runner is NOT just about your physical appearance. Running is a great self-esteem booster. Running will allow you to test and expand your limits like never before. With each goal you achieve you will find yourself more confident and more ready to take on the world. Running will teach you that your God-given body is an instrument to accomplish amazing things, and not a burden to drag around. You will learn to value your body for what it can do rather than what it looks like.
How can I support WRC and your #whatarunnerlookslike movement?
Thanks for asking! There are several easy ways to help support Women’s Running Community (WRC).
If you are going to purchase a shirt, watch, medal display, book, or running jewelry listed on Women’s Running Community, please click the “Buy Now” button on that product’s page listing. By doing so, at no cost to you, we receive a small commission which helps to pay for our site-related expenses and allows us to maintain and grow WRC.