Humans are unique. We are all physically and mentally different. So, why, when it comes to competition, are female athletes all expected to look the same? It’s unrealistic. We aren’t all built to have six packs, long legs and a high level of muscle definition. Our physique doesn’t represent who we are as athletes nor how good we are at what we do, so why does it matter? We all look different, it’s just part of human nature and is representative of how strength looks different on different people.
We all look different and have different confidences and insecurity, and as a result, all prefer to compete in different outfits. This should ultimately be supported and encouraged. You should be able to compete in the outfit most comfortable for you, not the one that shows off the right amount of flesh.
As athletes, we train hard for the opportunities we get to race. Therefore, we want to do everything we can to ensure each race goes in the best way possible, and to do this, we have to be comfortable. The last thing we want to be doing on race day is feeling self-conscious about our attire and worrying that we aren’t comfortable. Therefore, we have to wear what works for us, not what somebody else tells us we should wear. We need to do everything to ensure all our focus is on the race ahead, and not how we look.
If we are self-conscious about a specific body part, or just don’t like having lots of flesh on show, why should we have to reveal it. It is important when competing to wear what works for you. If you feel most confident in briefs and a crop top, wear that. If you prefer to wear longer shorts and a vest, wear that. Alternatively, if you feel happiest in a bodysuit, wear this. The outfit you wear is not the decision of anyone other than yourself. It also has no other effect on your performance except to influence how you feel. For this reason, you have to wear what works for you, as the opinion of others is irrelevant to how you perform.
In addition to this, it is important to not compare yourself to others based on image. How others look when they compete is not how you need to look at a competition. Everyone looks very different when they are competition ready. We all perform at our best when we are healthy and comfortable in our own skin, and this looks different on everyone. For this reason, we all feel comfortable showing different parts of ourselves. In the end, what we wear for competition needs to make us feel the best version of ourselves. For me, I like to wear a crop top and briefs because there is less for me to get annoyed by. I find vests uncomfortable against my skin and therefore prefer to wear a crop top. I also find wearing briefs allows me to stop constantly trying to pull shorts down as they rise up.
As shown by Holly Bradshaw in her recent Instagram post, it is important to stand up for yourself and what you feel confident in. No circumstances should force you to wear an outfit that you feel uncomfortable in. Not only will this make you feel self-conscious but may resultantly hinder your performance, and we do not train incredibly hard for our competition outfit to be the thing that throws us off our best.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!