Women’s Running magazine published their August issue with Erica Schenk on the cover, who is a real-sized woman runner. I am absolutely thrilled that Women’s Running used a model who represents REAL us women runners. Erica is a “plus-sized” model (which as a side-note, I don’t agree with the nomenclature “plus-sized” model because she is a regular, real-sized woman…but I digress). Erica is a runner, swimmer and sand volleyball player. The reason why I am thrilled that Women’s Running featured Erica isn’t just because her body-size is representative of all of us runners, but it helps reset the image behind what a runner looks like. In the past, I’ve been disappointed when my body didn’t shrink to the size of the 90-pound models I saw in magazines, despite my healthy eating, running and weight training. I’ve succumb to unhealthy measure to try to obtain the “perfect” body. Having Erica on the cover helps mother runners see the body of a real runner and have a more realistic expectation of their body. More importantly is the message that this image sends, which is that running can do so much for for you than shrink your body. Running enhances your mental well-being, strengthens lungs, prevents high blood pressure, relieves stress, improves bone density, strengthens the immune system and boosts confidence. These benefits can not been seen through the size of one’s thighs or stomach. There needs to be more communication about the benefits of running that are not related to women shrinking their body, but instead expanding their life. Kudos to Women’s Running for leading the charge! Let’s see other mags follow.
What do you think?