This past weekend I received an email from a reputable gym clothes company offering 20% off their stuff. I was thrown a little by the fact they also offered a free styling session (really?) but really chucked round the bend when I saw the tagline at the bottom of their email:
Dress to impress
Now I’m no stranger to a little power dressing or a bit of make up to make yourself more confident. One of my favourite tricks is to wear heels as I’m so tall normally I can be very intimidating in heels. But I still don’t feel it’s necessary to dress to impress for working out.
Who are we trying to impress? Are we supposed to be looking sexy while working out so we’re impressing all the buff men in the gym? Who, let’s be honest here, are really more interested at looking at themselves in the mirror than us and I have never felt the need to impress even a little bit. Are we trying to impress our personal trainers? The receptionist? Our friends? When did exercise become about fashion?
I have noticed it more and more over the last few years – going to the gym has become as much of a fashion parade as anything else. And it bothers me, particularly as that often results in only the slim, toned, and disproportionally booby women feeling they are welcome at a place that, let’s face it, really should be about getting red in the face and looking like shit.
So why are people buying into this? I know they must be as the email newsletter I received is from one of the top brands in this field, and is a brand I’ve started recognising on fellow gym goers as the it clothes to have (haha, I say that like I actually go to the gym, I don’t just see other people exercising on my way to work).
It seems to be just another ploy to make women feel bad about themselves and solve a problem that doesn’t really exist by selling people products they don’t really need. And that’s why it really bothers me.
This whole industry isn’t actually focussed on getting you fit, or making you healthy, or actually encouraging you to live an active life. It’s about looking hot with just the right amount of skin showing and just the right amount of boob lifting to not attract a mate, as you would expect, but to make other women feel bad. That’s what it really boils down to, ladies, doesn’t it? We’re not doing this to impress the men, we’re doing it to impress other women. And not impress, either, but cover our flaws and make them feel bad about theirs.
That’s why it really bothers me.
Because it’s no longer about feeling good, it’s about others feeling bad.
So, dressing to impress at the gym? I think I’ll stick with my oversized apple shirt with the peeling label, thanks.
Do you think it’s important to dress to impress when exercising?