I expect this from publications like the Daily Mail and frankly can’t be bothered to get angry any more about their disgusting approach to women in general.
When Laura tweeted some images of what the Stylist had published in their most recent issue I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here was a publication that dedicated a whole issue to Feminism and usually does a good job of balancing their beauty/style recommendations (aka advertising sales) with good articles by knowledgeable writers.
Then they wrote an article about the made up and frankly insulting term ‘runner’s face’ and dry swimmers’ skin. I’m not a doctor or qualified in any way to speak about human physiology (and doubt the author is either) but this is absolute bullshit. It’s not even worth my time explaining why because it’s clearly just a way to sell expensive skin products to women who are again being told to worry about false beauty standards over health.
This article brought up two major issues I’ve been trying to work over in my brain. First, articles like this perpetuate the problem of women being told that not only do they have to look good to exercise, but the only goal of exercises is to look pretty. Why are you running? It better be to lose weight. Yoga class? Long and lean limbs. Weights? Toned arms. This shouldn’t be the message that the media puts out to women. I exercise because it’s fun. 99.9% of my running is done with friends, at an event with beer at the end, or with my husband on our way to brunch.
Second, it again tells us that we need more stuff and professional advice to ‘do running’ properly. Going on to say that you should change your running technique to save your skin from the dreaded ‘runner’s face’ is another step too far. The Running Industrial Complex is insane enough trying to convince you to avoid weak glutes, run in shoes that are more supportive, run in shoes that are less supportive, kick your heels like Mo, run at this pace, and dance around like a monkey in compression gear (you get the point) to add changing your running form to avoid a saggy face. Seriously. Fuck. This.
On our flight to Berlin I found a great article in the BA Flight Magazine by Richard Askwith about Running Free and it reminded me that all this garbage about running better (or prettier according to the stylist) is rubbish and not at all applicable to why we run.
Look, I go to the “leading manufactures” events, help lead a run club with a running apparel store, and accept products to be reviewed on my blog as much as the next person so I’m not trying to say we should all strip down and run naked in the hills, but I am saying we should all be responsible to remember why we run and not be influenced by people/blogs/magazines telling you something because they are trying to make money.
The next day, after more than a few people tweeting at the Stylist asking what their response was to the criticism of this article – I was contacted and asked to email the editor with my concerns and I took the time to do so. Her response is below, which to me does a lot of explaining but not enough recognizing the problem of “troubleshooting ways of looking after your skin” in an article about fitness. It’s fine though – I’ve just added the Stylist to my pool of Daily Mail type publications and hope you do to.