Skirts: a sign of weakness, frilly and fussy femininity. Too long and they’re matronly. Too short and they’re slutty.
Worn during competitive sports? Pshaw. No serious athlete would ever wear a running skirt.
So what about stuntwoman Jessie Graff who became the first woman to complete Stage 1 in the American Ninja Warrior’s finals? In what appeared to be an effortless, badass feat, she wore a sparkly green skirt and bra inspired by the Green Lantern.
While most of the Internet cried “F yeah!”, some were less enthusiastic. They couldn’t get past her wardrobe: “Yeah, but her glitter green skirt is kinda ridiculous – why not just wear a regular sports bra and shorts?” Or they assumed she wore a skirt to be funny, which might be bolstered by the fact that she competed in a chicken suit – with a skirt – a few years before. But it doesn’t matter. You want to know why?
Because I don’t care. I f’ing love running skirts.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Running should be about what our bodies can do, not about how they look. The worse you look, the more hardcore you are, right? F that. Frizzy hair, raccoon eyes and leg stubble aside, I want to look good when I run.
Don’t give me that garbage about how spandex is flattering. It’s easy for someone with 9% body fat to tell me it’s perfectly fine to run with only 10% of my body covered in a thin layer of lycra.
And don’t tell me that it’s just a matter of having the right mindset. How many people actually feel great running around in a glorified bathing suit or with shorts all bunched up in their crotch?
As Stephen Hawking has pointed out, women are life’s most intriguing mystery. We’re coy, demure enigmas – modest and sexy. With a skirt flirtily covering our derrieres, we keep this mystery alive. WHAT?! What a crock of horse sh*t. But we’re aware that many men think this way, so it’s extra fun to wear a skirt while we beat them.
Yes, badasses like me wear skirts. Pimento is a badass, she wears them. The late great Sally Meyerhoff was an incredible athlete and a big proponent of the running skirt.
But I wear them for more than their irony. I have insecurities just like everybody else, and my thighs are the first thing I notice in race photos. I see chunk, wrinkles, and weakness, and I think to myself, “You don’t look like a runner.” Skirts hug me in all the right places, and when I look at myself in the mirror, I’m all about that bass. I feel good wearing them and when I feel good, I run better.
Besides their ability to flatter, skirts are more comfortable to me. I have f’ing strong legs, and most loose running shorts bunch or chafe. Bonus, is that when I wear a skirt, I can run knowing my running buddies are gawking at a layer of ruffles instead of my booty behind me. Double Bonus, that layer of modesty is also a layer of security in case of a mid-run bladder failure.
In the end, who cares what we wear while we run? We all run for different reasons: fun, competition, to be a role model, to prove something to ourselves or others, to find sanity. Whatever our reason, we pick the clothes that make us happy, make us fast, make us comfortable, or make us feel sexy AF. What does it matter whether we wear a pair of 10-year old well-worn beloved shorts, or a kick ass pink mini skirt? A badass in a skirt is still a badass, even a guy badass. Live and let live, I say. (Unless someone’s wearing a dress. You can totally make fun of a person wearing a running dress.) (Oh, and those plaid, collared hipster running shirts. Make fun of those, too!)
Do you wear running skirts? What side do you fall on the great running skirt debate?