Rerun: Sexy Joggers

Jenn Shelton’s competitor better be revering her!

Salty Running would like to issue a public service announcement. Be proud of your bodies and show them off to your heart’s content, but be aware that your photo may end up in a Flickr group called, “Sexy Joggers” and you could never know it!

“Sexy Joggers” must be the new catcall. And just like catcalls “Sexy Joggers” isn’t flattering, it’s creepy. Who doesn’t want to be found attractive? But, there is a difference between noticing someone’s attractiveness in a respectful way and gawking at someone and their sexiness in a lascivious way.  For instance, this photo by Mike Baird seems respectful to me and that’s why I chose it to illustrate some posts early on in our Training Basics feature. The woman looks strong and carefree, enjoying her run.

On the other hand, this photo of a woman running taken out the window of a man’s pick-up truck while he was driving, is all kinds of creepy. The shot is quite artistic, actually. It really lends the sense that the runner is prey. She’s half-naked, not focused on her surroundings, vulnerable.

That’s the thing. When we women go out in our little outfits, tune out the world and go for it on our runs we are a little vulnerable. It’s sad, but true. While we should be able to run whenever, wherever and in whatever we want without worrying about a thing, that’s just not the case. I wish everyone revered women who care about their bodies, enjoy being athletes and work hard. The sad truth is some view women runners as nothing more than a thing for their own viewing pleasure. Sites like “Sexy Joggers” just encourages our objectification.  (Reverential sites like this one and this one help make up for it a little bit!)

My intention is not to add one more thing to your list of worries and I certainly want no one to be self-conscious about their running at all.  It’s always important to run safe, but no matter what we do it seems that if we run in public we will be subject to this stuff. I just want to make you aware of this phenomenon and now we can all check “Sexy Joggers” regularly to make sure we’re not there if we don’t want to be!

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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12 comments

  1. At the risk of sounding sexist, I am not sure that guys (at least some or most of them) have the ability to distinguish between “noticing someone’s sexiness in a respectful way and gawking at someone and their sexiness in a lascivious way.” I have taught in middle and high schools where girls love to display their budding bodies. They don’t understand that the boys’ bodies are budding, too, and it can be a big distraction. Personally, I love what running is doing to my body but at my age I don’t think there is anything I could do to get people to gawk. I’ve been thinking about a belly dancing hip scarf over my tri shorts, though! :-)

    1. Perhaps teenaged boys have a hard time knowing the distinction between respectful notice and gawky objectification. I asked my husband and he quite sincerely said there is a difference between respectfully noticing someone sexiness and being a, well, pig. Many men can drive by a woman running and think, “whoa. hot.” and not objectify her by a) catcalling or b) taking her photo and posting it for other like-minded dudes to gawk at!

      And for the record, the vast majority of men are awesome, respectful and super cool!!!

      1. I totally agree that most men are awesome, respectful, and super cool! It’s pretty tough for a guy not to be aroused by seeing a very sexy woman though. Fortunately most of the guys I know are gentlemen and don’t act on their feelings in the offensive way you describe. I just think it’s a also good thing for women to remember that even gentlemen are human too, and to respect their restraint with at least a minimal amount of modesty.

  2. Jenn Shelton kills me! I saw her win Frederick Marathon a few years back in a tiny little bikini. It just seems part of her whole persona. Me? I’ll drop down to a sports bra in the heat, but no bikinis for running any time soon!

  3. What gets me about the post most is that pics are being collected on a site most would not know about. So, as Salty mentioned, you may get photographed and put on someone’s site. Creepy. I know it can happen any place, any time, but this post raised my creep radar more than anything else.

    BTW1: I don’t know anything about Jenn Shelton (other than what I just found on wikipedia) – but that photo is very Borat looking to me! Heh! (Maybe intentionally? If not, sorry Jenn).

    BWT2: I think the truck pic is creepy, but I don’t agree that she doesn’t look like she is aware of her surroundings. When my radar is up, I don’t necessarily look all about, I am focused – don’t count her out as being unaware just yet.

    1. That is just one of many of Jenn’s skimpy race outfits. The first one I ever saw was a rainbow string bikini she wore running a marathon. She’s an accomplished ultrarunner (featured in Born to Run) and an OT Qualifier in the marathon.

      Yes. So creepy. I want to scour the recesses of the internet and find other sites – you know they must be out there!

  4. The truck photo makes me shudder…and feel so very grateful to live somewhere so safe. I don’t mean to be blasé about it but guys taking photos of me from a truck isn’t something I need to worry about round here!