competition · racing

XRated Run: One race I won’t be running

the letter XOn this blog I jokingly asked if the days of the vanilla 5 km run were over. These days it’s all about funny colours, rave lighting and music, mud, obstacles, and zombies.

You name it, the duo of  Fit,  Feminist, and (Almost) Fifty bloggers plus our extended community of fit, feminist guests of all ages have done it and blogged about it.

On the whole, I love the participatory spirit of these events. For the most part, they’re fun, aiming to get everybody out there moving, and have a real party atmosphere. I don’t see a need to be a snob about race culture. There were thousands of young people, mostly in their 20s and 30s I’d guess, out for the Warrior Dash. Music and costumes and a great supportive spirit.

I might be approaching 50 but I’m not a grump like the guy who wrote this:  The Slowest Generation: Younger Athletes Are Racing With Less Concern About Time. The fifty something author of that piece thinks youngsters are ruining competitive racing with their lack of concern for finishing times. Me, I still see lots of very serious racing out there and if these fun runs capture people who would never race competitively, then I’m all in favour. The more the merrier, to each her own, etc…

Tracy agrees in her blog post on why she likes races in which everyone gets a medal.

Here’s someone’s Warrior Dash video that seems to capture the mood.

But there’s one themed race I won’t be doing: The X Rated Run.

It even involves mud, which I like. And also lots of nudity, sex, toys, and porn.

I’m not staying away from the X Rated Run because I’m a prude or the sort of feminist who thinks these things are a bad idea for women. I don’t.  I’m a sex positive feminist.

However, you might know from my past post on sexercise that there are things I don’t like to mix.

What’s the attraction? Obviously some people think it’s sexy and fun. Some people think if you like two things, say like food and sex, the combo is even better. Not me. Not food and sex. Not exercise and sex either. If it’s fun for you, great. But me, I’ll stick to running, biking, rowing, weight lifting, soccer etc.

What’s the X Rated Run? Here’s a brief description from their website.

Forget 50 Shades of Grey – X-rated is 50 Shades of Mud.

We’re bringing to you the sexiest, wildest and most outrageous obstacles on the mud run circuit, where fitness is not a factor, but fun definitely is!

Whether you’re a seasoned mud-runner or a mud-run virgin, get out of your comfort zone, bring your sense of humor, leave your conservatism at home and join us for a day of adult-themed fun.

We guarantee you’ll get hot, sweaty, sticky, and covered in more than 50 Shades of mud! Come on your own, as a pair or enter a team, just make sure you’re over 18!
sexy mud runner

Here’s a description from the Sports Illustrated blog Extra Mustard:

If you’re a mud-running enthusiast who has ever wanted porn stars, pole dancers, and generous sexual innuendo with your endurance racing, you best start searching Kayak for flights to Bunnell, Florida on March 22. That’s when thousands of runners with questionable motives will flock to the Sunshine State for the inaugural X-Rated Run, described on its site as “THE ORIGINAL, FIRST OF ITS KIND, 5K adult-themed obstacle course race for all people over 18 of all fitness abilities!”

The event—which will feature such obstacles as the Dominatrix Dungeon, the G-String Crawl, and the Boob Wall—is the brainchild of Kelly Perez, an obstacle-course buff and the owner of adult novelty store SensualSteals.com. She got into the hobby after other attempts at weight-loss regimens didn’t stick, and the idea came to her during a workout session with her Marine cousin.

“One day while training, I felt drained and wanted to give up,” Perez recalls. “I said, ‘This is B.S. Forget it. I’m not an elite athlete—I sell sex toys for a damn living.’ My cousin replied, ‘Stop f—ing complaining, and envision crawling through a penis tunnel.’ After I laughed, it hit me like a bolt of lightning: I literally envisioned an entire obstacle course made out of boobs and penises. Exercise and sex are so closely related: They both cause you to get all hot, sweat, and release feel good pheromones. So why is there not an event that can bring the two together?”

On the bright side, it’s associated with a charity, A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Clitoraid.org, promoting campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM) and helping restore a sense of dignity and pleasure. Visit www.clitoraid.org to learn more.
How much of the proceeds go to charity? If that’s a factor in signing up for a race, it’s wise to find out more. See Nat’s guest post, Philanthropy and Fitness.

Do I have any actual feminist concerns? Mostly I just think it’s not to my taste. (That’s the phrase my kids used growing up when they didn’t like a meal.)  There’s the usual objectification of women and mainstream standards of beauty and stereotyping of everyone’s tastes and pleasures, no doubt with a healthy dose of heterosexism and heteronormativity thrown in for good measure. But hey, that’s just any mainstream women’s magazine or a typical Saturday afternoon at the mall. That is to say, it’s no more offensive from a feminist angle than most of life in general, except it’s sexually explicit.

I do have one really worry about consent, power dynamics, and really demanding physical activity. At the Warrior Dash, no one made you do the obstacles. There was no penalty for not doing them and no one yelled at you. Instead, some of the obstacle staff gave tips on how to complete a given obstacle quickly and safely. If you decided not to do it, then you ran around it. And for the most part, the Warrior Dash didn’t feel so much like a race. Some obstacles were so much fun that people did them twice. Even I was tempted by the “slip and slide.” But I gather that at the Tough Mudder people yell at you.

If you add “people yelling at you to complete obstacles” to a “50 shades of Grey” dynamic and add in some untrained athletes there more for the sexiness and less for the athletic competition, my thought is things might go badly wrong. And if the people attending got their understanding of consent from that particular book, then yikes.(For a feminist, kink positive review of 50 Shades etc, see crazy and criminal: on those damn books, and why they matter.)

athletes · running · training

How exercise helps, rather than hurts, life/work balance

gymI often get asked how I fit everything in. I’ve blogged about that in a few places. See on making time for families here and on making tough choices in rough times here.

Mostly making time for training for various sports and activities makes me feel more organized and able to cope, not less. That feeling–I gather it’s called “self-efficacy”–is related directly to exercise it turns out.

I was happy to read this this week:

Russell Clayton, assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University in Florida, surveyed 476 working adults about how they manage the demands of their personal and professional lives. Not surprisingly, his study found that exercise lowered stress levels. But Clayton also found that exercise increased self-efficacy, the feeling that one is capable of taking things on and getting them done. Among the survey participants, the increased feeling of self-efficacy experienced with regular exercise carried over to work and home roles, and translated into less conflict over balancing those roles.

See How Exercise Helps with Work/Life Balance and How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family.

What sorts of things do I do to make it easier to fit my workouts in?

It’s Sunday and Sunday is my preparation and planning day for the week ahead. I usually plan meals and buy groceries. (Not today though. Today we’re celebrating my son’s birthday.) I also bring the clean laundry upstairs (no second story laundry here) and pack my various workout bags. I do this in advance for each of the different physical activities I do and leave the bags packed for the week. Soccer clothes in the soccer bag, Aikido uniform in the Aikido bag, CrossFit, running etc. Cycling doesn’t get a gym bag. I have an entire bureau for cycling clothes and usually I leave from here.

Yes, that’s a lot of bags but having them packed in advance makes it that much easier to fling them in the back of the car.

I also look at my schedule and the calendars of the various things I do and see what fits in where. This might be a good week to try the Monday night Power Hour at CrossFit.

eating · fitness

What’s the connection between inactivity and obesity?: It’s not as clear as you might think

Recent reports on the extremely low levels of physical activity in the Canadian population tell us that few Canadians (7% of kids and 15% of adults) are meeting recommended levels of physical activity.

Does this explain increases in percent of the population counting as overweight or obese? Not so fast. In Inactivity Does Not Explain Canada’s Obesity Epidemic  Dr Arya Sharma notes that  the real take-home message is that physical activity levels are low in all groups, not just among those who are overweight and obese.

From Dr Sharma:

…if we convert the rather modest differences in MVPA levels taking into account the increased effort required to move higher body weights, we would find almost no difference in actual calories spent in activities to account for any difference in body weights. Thus, to me at least, these data pretty much blow to pieces the widely held bias that overweight and obesity can be largely explained by lack of activity or that overweight and obese individuals are less physically active (read “lazy”) than “normal” weight individuals.

He concludes,

Continuing to link the necessary discussion about inactivity to the problem of obesity is not only scientifically unfounded but, by dangerously and unfairly reinforcing stereotypes (not reflected in the actual data), may well do more harm than good when it comes to tackling both the epidemic of obesity and the epidemic of sedentariness.

Read the rest. It’s a very interesting post.

Tea-Time

Crossfit

“Karen,” we’ll meet again!

Karen-designstyle-badge-m“Karen” is a deceptively simple CrossFit workout. 150 wall balls. That’s it. The rx, or recommended, weight for women is 14 lbs. I modified that to 10 and still found it hard when I did it yesterday.

What’s a “wall ball”? Here’s a good explanation from Muscle and Fitness:

Done right, wall balls are a great all-around conditioning movement. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, your shoulders pulled back and down, and a medicine ball held at chest height with your elbows under the ball.

When you descend into the wall ball squat, the idea is to get proper depth the same way you would with a back squat. Keep your weight over your heels with your knees tracking your toes, and aim to lower the crease of your hips below your knees. Make sure to hold the ball at chest height throughout the downward movement, as letting it dip will cause you to round your back and shift your weight forward. Drive through your heels on the way up, using hip action to throw the ball into the wall. Catch it on the rebound, squat again, and repeat for reps.

Why women’s names? Why “Karen”? I talked about “the girls” in my post about thing s I like about CrossFit and things I’m less keen about:

An answer to the girls’ names for workouts: “Many have asked, “Why are the workouts named after girls?” Coach Glassman, the founder and President of CrossFit explained it best. “I want to explain the workout once and then give it a name. I thought that anything that left you flat on your back, looking up at the sky asking ‘what just happened to me?’ deserved a female’s name. Workouts are just like storms, they wreak havoc on towns.”” Hmmmm. http://crossfit208nampa.wordpress.com/the-girls/

I don’t like that explanation but I do like the idea of naming the workouts. After awhile you know what Fran is and you can easily keep track of your time/reps etc. And in terms of involving women, CrossFit does really well. And of course they’d be other problems if they all had tough, manly names too.

London CrossFit Coach Dave Henry had some words of wisdom about “Karen”: The worst thing you can do, he said, was go at it like a hero for the first 30 and then collapse. That’s the most common mistake. He must have seen me climbing hills on my bike. “Attack and die” seems to be my strategy! That’s why I’m good at short, steep climbs. No pesky shifting and spinning for me, just fast up and over. It’s also why I’m dreadful at long, slow climbs. So I knew what my temptation would be with a 150 wall balls. Instead, Dave suggested we do sets of 5. He also said that when we rested, just lean into the wall with the ball. Don’t put it on the ground. That’s like the best piece of burpee advice I’ve gotten. Speedy, at CrossFit Dunedin, told us that if you’re breaking burpees up into chunks to never rest standing up, always rest on the ground. Smart. You have to get up again anyway. May as well do another burpee. I followed Dave’s advice for the first half and again at the end. In the middle I opted for sets of 10 because starting again after taking a break seemed painful.

My time was 11:41. The speedsters in our group seemed to come in around 9 and I was in the middle, I think. I look at the whiteboard but I don’t obsess and I don’t let comparisons ruin my workout.

One challenge for me with wall balls is my glasses. I’ve had two CrossFit injuries. One was when I missed catching the medicine ball and it came down crashing into my face. Ouch. My glasses cut the bridge of my nose and twisted out of shape. Luckily, they were an easy fix. And my nose healed.  So now I do wall balls without them. Blurry but safe. (The other injury involved box jumps. I still have the scar.)

I’ll do it again. I hope next time to use the 14 b ball. My plan is to practice with the heavier ball during warm ups.

This guy looks to have good form though I don’t look forward to burpee wall balls!

Aikido · athletes · competition · cycling · martial arts · racing · running · skiing · swimming · training · weight lifting

Weight training only?

weights versus cardio cartoonI’ve written before about mono exercisers, advocating instead for an account of fitness that includes multiple components. See Is there life after running? and Fitness, yes but fit for what?

It used to be that I spent time with runners who only ran, cyclists who only rode bikes, and triathletes who wildly mixed it up a bit on the endurance exercise front. But none of them, or almost none of them, lifted weights. Maybe on the off season, maybe. But even then only reluctantly in service of their chosen sport.

These days I’m hanging with some weight lifters who eschew cardio. See comics above and below!

Is it really true that the efforts of one work against the other? (Tracy is going to post later about endurance exercise and the goal of fat loss.)

It seems obviously true that at the outer limits it’s true that these goals can compete. Marathon and ultra-marathoners are small people usually. Extra weight, even in the form of muscle, just makes the job harder. Upper body muscles have no place on the bodies of cyclists who specialize in hill climbing.

Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times piece on size and athletic performance. Note though that a fair amount of this is self-selection. It’s true that elite runners are small but not necessarily true that running made them small.

“The rules of physics say that distance cycling and distance running are for small people. Rowing and swimming are for people who are big. The physics is so exact that when Dr. Secher tried to predict how fast competitive rowers could go, based only on their sizes and the weights of their boats, he was accurate to within 1 percent.

At first glance, a big rower (and elite male rowers can weigh as much as 250 pounds) may seem to be at a disadvantage trying to row hard enough to push a boat through the water. But because water buoys the boat, weight becomes less of an issue compared with the enormous benefits of having strong muscles.”

The same reasoning explains why elite swimmers are big. Great male swimmers often are 6 feet 4 inches tall, and muscular. And because of the advantage that large muscles give for sprints over short distances, the shorter the distance an athlete must swim, the greater the advantage it is to be big.

Tall swimmers also have another advantage: because swimmers are horizontal in the water, their long bodies give them an automatic edge. “It’s the difference between long canoes and short canoes,” Dr. Joyner said.

Distance running is different. Tall people naturally have longer strides, but stride length, it turns out, does not determine speed. Running requires that you lift your body off the ground with each step, propelling yourself forward. The more you weigh, the harder you have to work to lift your body and the slower you will be.

The best runners are small and light, with slim legs. “If you have large legs, you have to move a big load,” Dr. Secher said. “The smaller you are, the better you are.”

See Bigger is better, except when it’s not

Here’s Fit and Feminist blogging about regretfully losing muscle while marathon training:

I will also cop to feeling frustrated that I’ve lost some of my upper body muscle, even though I made a point to lift at least twice a week and to increase my caloric intake to compensate for the calories burned off by my runs.  In fact, I ended up actually losing weight, which is basically unheard of during marathon training. The fact that this happened has led me to another realization, which is that while I really love and admire well-developed upper bodies and would love to have one of my own, I have come to the realization that I am not one of those people whose bodies can accommodate a lot of running AND have big, beautiful muscles.  So I am still focused on lifting, but it’s also with the understanding that I might not have gorgeous muscles to go along with the strength I build.  *sad trombone*

And for people interested in growing muscle, whether for strength training for body building, it’s true that running, biking, swimming marathon type distances can work against your newly built muscle.

But happily most of us aren’t performance oriented ultra-runners or only interested in the size of our muscles. Most of us are middle of the pack athletes, running middle distances and lifting weights for strength and health reasons. For us, it’s a mistake to be distracted about what’s true for those with single minded fitness goals.

I’m a  Jill of all sports and I’m okay with that even if it means I don’t do as well in any one as I would do if I did only that thing.

See you in the weight room, on the soccer field, out running, biking, or rowing, in the dojo, or on the cross country ski trails!
image

yoga

Penguin yoga galore

About two or three people a day find this blog by searching for “nude yoga” or “naked yoga.” (Here is the post they get.)

But this week a new yoga phrase cropped up: “penguin yoga!” Penguin yoga? What on earth could that be? I searched too, couldn’t resist, and now I have to share. Enjoy.

Penguin Yoga, on Deviant Art, http://natdatnl.deviantart.com/art/penguin-yoga-287479396
Penguin Yoga, on Deviant Art, http://natdatnl.deviantart.com/art/penguin-yoga-287479396
mom penguin baby doing yoga? - from Cheezburger (of course)
mom penguin baby doing yoga? – from Cheezburger
(of course)
An actual penguin sort of doing yoga
An actual penguin sort of doing yoga

 

yoga5

Turns out you can take any goofy animal, add yoga, and get lots of cute images. Sloth yoga? Check. Panda bear yoga? Check. Here’s 10 animal yoga poses…by animals.

You all know rule 34? If it exists, there’s a porn of it. See database here and xkcd cartoon here. There’s a new version, if a cute animal exists, there’s a yoga of it.

Sloth in Lotus Pose
Sloth in Lotus Pose
Uncategorized

Come play with us in our other sandboxes!

ImageWe’ve got a great community on Facebook where we share links and chat with other like minded feminist fitness friends. You can like us there and join in the conversation, https://www.facebook.com/feministfitness.

You can follow us on Twitter too, FitFeminist Almost50 (50FitFeminist) on Twitter.

We’ve also got a Pinterest board, http://www.pinterest.com/samjabre/fit-feminist-and-almost-fifty/.

See you around!

 

 

waves, colours

body image

The unexpected advantages of growing up chubby

dandelion with fluff

I have a fairly robust self image despite being significantly overweight. How did I come by this? It’s puzzled me a bit so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts.

It’s not that I think my body is perfect, far from it. I see the flaws: footballer knees, a soft lower belly from pregnancy, wide calves, short legs/long torso… What I mean is that when I look in the mirror, I usually smile. I see my stretch marks even (hard to be pregnant three times without getting some) with affection.

I used to think that body acceptance would be easier if you were closer to society’s ideals for women. Now I see that isn’t so. Doing the Lean Eating program I got to know some very small women with some serious body image issues. I found some of the self-loathing pretty difficult to be around and in the end I chose a smaller subset of that community as allies and friends.

I realized that I’ve had some big advantages in the people with whom I’ve chosen to surround myself. I’ve speculated before about queer community, diversity, and body positivity. It helps too that there are people who I find attractive in spite of, or even because of, their physical “flaws.” And I’ve always had people in my life who think I’m attractive, because of who I am, not in spite of it too. I laughed when I read I’m Fat, Forty And Single And I’m Having No Problems Getting Laid on xojane. You should go read it. Funny, sexy, and true.

So sex and sexual attractiveness can’t be the whole story. I suspect that some of these nearly perfect women suffer more because they’ve been inside the beauty norms for so long, it hurts to feel out. When you’re off the radar as a kid it’s easier to cope. Being mainstream thin and beautiful mostly felt ‘off the menu’ for me. I wasn’t a fat kid but I think I was always chubby. Okay, there was a brief patch in high school when I was a smaller size. I also smoked and drank lots of coffee and got winded walking up a flight of stairs so it’s hard to idealize those days.

I suspect it makes a difference too that while I was chubby enough to be off perfection’s radar, I wasn’t fat as a kid, just chubby. I’ve always struggled with these terms. I still do. See Fat or big: What’s in a name? . What I mean is that I wasn’t bullied for my size and escaping with my self-esteem still intact is probably connected to that too.

Come midlife though pretty much everyone’s body changes and mostly in ways people don’t like. In my post on middle-age, bellies, and body acceptance, I noted that changing shapes and weight gain around the waist seems to take a harder toll on the formerly thin.

We all know that the changes in hormones associated with menopause leads to change in fat distribution. Lower estrogen levels post menopause move fat storage from hips and thighs to the midsection. And it’s the chubby bellies that bug people who’ve been on the thin side for most of their adult lives.

To get a sense of what I’m saying about those who were chubby through youth, read Math Babe’s wonderful post I’m already fat so I may as well be smart.

I just wanted to mention something positive about the experience of being fat all my life, but especially as a school kid. Because just to be clear, this isn’t a phase. I’ve been pudgy since I was 2 weeks old. And overall it kind of works for me, and I’ll say why.

Namely, being a fat school kid meant that I was so uncool, so outside of normal social activity with boys and the like, that I was freed up to be as smart and as nerdy as I wanted, with very little stress about how that would “look”. You’re already fat, so why not be smart too? You’re not doing anything else, nobody’s paying attention to you, and there’s nothing to gossip about, so might as well join the math team.

Queer people sing a similar song about what makes fellow queers so interesting. Once you learn that society is wrong about expectations around sexual orientation, you begin to question society’s norms and expectations across the board. What else might my teachers and parents and all the other kids be wrong about? What other received truths won’t survive the light of day? What do I like really?

graphic of question marks

The circumstances of growing up as an outsider–whether one is outside beauty norms or sexual orientation norms–can have interesting positive effects.

Slate columnist Mark Stern explores the question, Are gay people smarter than straight people? here. he looks at the best explanation for gay exceptionalism and finds them not in biology but in context and circumstances.

Gay people might just work harder than their heterosexual counterparts. Starting in childhood, most gay people are acutely aware of the challenges they’ll face, the roadblocks they’ll encounter, the discrimination they’ll battle. Gays born into small towns—which tend toward homophobia—understand early on that they must escape in order to find acceptance. For LGBT youths, escape usually hinges on two all-important factors: good grades and money. When excelling in school and making money are the only escape hatch to happiness, hitting the books and working overtime have a lot more appeal.

rainbow umbrella

Similar points can be made about growing up outside mainstream beauty norms. Well, I’m not going to be a supermodel. Cross that off my to-do list, or as awful well-meaning relatives sometimes say, “You’re not going to earn your living off your looks.” Then you better find something else on which to base your self-esteem. Make peace with it and move on.

It’s not that I’ve never cared that people find me attractive. Rather, I’ve never cared that most people people find me attractive. I’ve always thought of myself as a ‘niche taste’ appealing to certain people but not others. And that’s just fine with me.

mist, a dock, on a lake

eating · fitness

Teeny Tiny Habits, One at a Time

HabitsWe’ve blogged about habits before (Sam’s post here and another here and here), and about doing less (my post here).  I’ve known about small changes leading to big things for quite a long while now.  But since starting the Precision Nutrition Lean Eating Program last month, I’ve really made the link between habits and doing less.

It’s the tiny habit that wins the day. Why? Because it’s more likely to stick.  That’s why the Pomodoro Technique has always worked so well for me when it comes to tackling projects that I procrastinate on.  I can get into the habit of spending just 25 minutes on an important project.  I am so grateful to Daphne Gray-Grant, the Publication Coach, for pointing me in the direction of that technique and for her wise emphasis on small, do-able changes.

The PN Lean Eating program, as Sam described so well in her review post, focuses on healthy habits, one at a time.  Last month, for the first two weeks of the program, we were encouraged to come up with our own “5 minute action.”  This is any positive change that would take no more than five minutes. If it only takes five minutes, it’s easy to accomplish because, face it, who doesn’t have five minutes?

My five minute action that first two weeks was to meditate for at least five minutes after I arrived at work each day, before I started working. When I get to the office, I plug in the kettle for my tea, turn off the overhead light, set my Insight Timer for 5-10 minutes, and meditate.  Going into silence before I get down to my daily tasks has created a buffer between my commute and my workday that grounds me.

Now, we are working on the habit of slow eating.  I have never been a slow eater. In fact, if I eat with people, I’m almost always one of the first to finish.  Even though I’ve had the slow eating advice zillions of times through my various diets and eating plans, I’ve never done it for a sustained period of time. I think the reason is that it always came along with a suite of other changes, not on its own.

But this time, it’s literally the ONLY habit that I need to work on for this two week period. And you know what?  Since I started practicing this habit last week, I’ve been the last one to finish every single time I’ve had a meal with people. And when I eat by myself, I’ve added at least 5-10 minutes to each meal.  What felt odd and unnatural at first is now, after just 9 days, becoming my default way of eating.  Scarfing down my food is no longer appealing to me.

It’s a small change, and right now it’s the only change. I can handle it because I can focus on it without the distraction of having to juggle a raft of other changes at the same time.

Leo Babauta has a wonderful website called Zen Habits.  He has an excellent post about “The Four Habits that Form Habits.” Number one on the list is to “start exceedingly small.” As he puts it, “make it so easy that you can’t say no.” Instead of starting a whole new workout program, commit to doing three push-ups.  Instead of overhauling your entire diet, practice eating slowly.

Whether you want to follow Sark in calling these small steps “micro-movements”(download overview available here) or PN in calling them “5 minute actions,” whether they seem like changes that are too small to make a difference, the fact is, this approach to change works.

Doing less than you think you should and working on establishing just one habit at a time is a winning combo. It’s taken me from fast eater to slow eater in less than two weeks.

If you have any stories or experience with teeny tiny habits, one at a time, please share them in the comments. Now—time for my five minute meditation!

advertising · athletes · body image · Crossfit

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander? On Monday morning fitspo…

Last Monday morning was cold and grey. It needed something. Yes, coffee. But more than that. Turns out it needed  topless men in kilts. Who knew?

A friend posted the photo collection on Facebook and tagged me. Yes, muscular chests and kilts, a winning combo that works for me. I smiled and reposted to spread the cheer.

Here’s one:

half naked beareded guy in the water wearing a red kilt

Many friends liked it. But within a few minutes a straight male friend commented, “I was going to post some hot workout woman but thought “Nah; I’ll be called a sexist. Then I see this….”

Oops!

Here’s his “oops!” offering:

babe

 

What’s the difference? My sense is that images of incredibly fit beautiful people affect people differently and that gender plays a role. If fitspo babe makes me insecure and self conscious (which actually she doesn’t but she doesn’t inspire or attract me much either), maybe the hunky kilted dudes do that to my male friends? (Also, who boxes in denim cut off booty shorts?)

Do these images constitute sexual objectification? Is that always a bad thing?

I’ve wondered about this before. There is a great poster up at CrossFit of very beefy, burly guys sprinting shirtless. I like the poster. It makes me smile. But I’ve noticed there’s no comparable photo of CrossFit women. There too I think there is a real worry that a poster of fit, beautiful CrossFit women would have a negative effect on the women who workout there. See Tracy’s post The Inspirational Dis-Value of “Fitspo”.

What do you think? Is there a difference between pictures of buff half naked women versus buff half naked men? What is it?

I’m still mulling.