This month, we’re focusing on all things body image related, because there’s nothing more important than learning how to love your body. It might be the hardest thing you ever have to learn how to do, but once you get to a point where you love the skin you’re in, you’ve accomplished a massive goal. Reaching for your goals is much easier when you have some kickass women by your side, as was proven last week when a group of 800 women went for a run through the streets of London in their underwear.
Women running in their underwear
Yes, the power of women is real, and it was there for everyone to see when podcaster and journalist Bryony Gordon gathered with her celebrity friends and hundreds of other women to undertake their very unique run. Most women aren’t even comfortable with their best friends seeing them in their underwear, so going for a run in nothing but your underwear must be nothing short of terrifying – but these 800 women did it anyway.
You already have a “runner’s body”
According to Runner’s World, the ladies’ run was part of the “Celebrate You” campaign at the Vitality London 10k. Gordon and her friends seized the opportunity to show everyone that there’s no such thing as a “runner’s body”, reminding women everywhere that running is not about having a perfect body and looking like a perfect athlete. All you need for running is a body, and boom, there you have a runner’s body. Pretty simple, right?
Gordon was joined by the likes of Loose Women presenter Andrea McLean, as well as famous podcasters and campaigners Deborah James and Laura Mahon. The comedy duo Ellie Gibson and Helen Thorne, known as Scummy Muummies, was also there, along with mom and author Giovanna Fletcher.
Last year, Gordon kind of kicked off the campaign with plus-size model Jada Smith as her only companion, running the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon in their underwear. The response they received was overwhelmingly positive, and they took it as a sign that they needed to do it again to inspire more women to get into running and feel comfortable in their bodies while doing it.
A liberating experience
All the women who participated in this year’s run couldn’t emphasize enough how much they loved it – they all have different reasons, but one synonymous reason is that it was a liberating experience.
Those who ran in the “Celebrate You” group took to social media after the run to share their experiences. One woman said that she had been so nervous to run in her underwear, but by the end of the race it had felt like the most natural thing in the world.
Another praised the campaign for making women feel “unapologetically seen”.
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Cheek To Cheek 🍑 Spent My Bank Holiday Monday In My Undies. Alongside 900 Formidable Females. As You Do. Running, Walking + Skipping. Pounding The Streets Of My Glorious City. For The @VitalityLondon10k. For #CelebrateYou. Empowering Women To Accept + Reclaim Their Bodies. Every Size. Every Shape. Every Texture. Every Age. Because Let’s Face It Women Are Fucking Amazing! Could Not Be Prouder To Run Beside My @BowelBabe. Despite It All Showing Ourselves How Capable We Are. How Our Diagnosis Doesn’t Define Us. And Meeting So Many Others Who Feel The Same. Completely In Love With @BryonyGordon + @JadaSezer. For Pulling This Together. For Asking Me To Be Involved. For Making Sure All Of Us Were Unapologetically Seen. And For Pushing Me To See How Far I’ve Come. Thank You To Everyone Who Cheered Us Along. Same Time Next Year Yeah Ladies?
Another woman said that it felt like she was doing something for the sisterhood and that it was a very rewarding experience.
“What an amazing achievement this was for us all. Totally humbling, inspiring and incredibly liberating to share in such an occasion. 🙌🏻 I ran the London marathon from you inspiring [me] to live my best life and today [was] equally as rewarding… felt like we were doing something for the sisterhood! Thank you for putting yourselves out there and bringing us all along for the ride. Together we are stronger!
Another runner said that the run has changed the way she sees herself, and that she no longer feels self-conscious about how her body looks. It’s a runner’s body just the way it is.
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TRANSFORMATION TUESDAY . There’s no ‘before and after’ here, because the transformation is from the inside. And just look at the smile on my face. I’m happy, content and proud. . Running the @vitalitylondon10k yesterday with Team #CelebrateYou has transformed the way I see myself. Before I’d have been mortified if anyone saw me running in anything less than at least a vest and shorts with all the wobbly bits on display. But here’s the real deal – this is what a happy, healthy, UK size 10 woman looks like. THIS is a runner’s body. . Before I used to think I was the only one with the dimples of cellulite on my thighs. Nope. That’s part of our genetic make up and most women have it – we just never show it because we’re made to believe it’s not ‘beautiful’ and somehow makes us less attractive. . The comments on the articles that we’re featured in are hilarious. ‘If you ate healthy and weren’t so lazy you wouldn’t be so fat.’ 😂 Okkkkk. I’m actually good, but thanks for your concern ✌🏼 . #transformationtuesday #teamrunderwear #runnersofinstagram #runnersbody #instagramrunners #bodypositive #runhappy #runningmotivation #running #runner #runninginspiration #runnershigh
Women need to see what “normal” bodies look like
It’s amazing to see how this campaign changed the way women look at their bodies. Reading how some of them thought they were the only ones with dimples and cellulite on their thighs is actually shocking – the media has clearly succeeded in fooling us on how “normal” bodies look. Let’s be honest – when you’re a woman, you have cellulite somewhere. It’s part of having a body. Isn’t it about time we make peace with it and show it to the world? It’s clear that women need to see how other “normal” women look, because knowing that other women look just like you and have the same “imperfections” as you can go a very long way.
800 Women celebrating their bodies
Gordon also took to Instagram after the run to extend her thanks to everyone who took part in the campaign.
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Thank you thank you THANK YOU. To every woman who came and ran with us today. To every person who cheered us and supported us. I spent so much time worrying that everyone else was having a good time that I forgot to have one myself, but that’s it, WE DID IT, 800 WOMEN RUNNING THROUGH LONDON AND CELEBRATING THEMSELVES IN ALL THEIR GLORY! I am so proud of you all, and can’t wait to do it again next year. Look what we did @jadasezer! ❤️❤️❤️ @vitalitylondon10k
Show off your body just the way it is
This is an amazing initiative and seeing the impact it has made on the women who took part in it is absolutely amazing. Why shouldn’t women show off their bodies just the way they are? Why are you only “allowed” to show off your body when it meets society’s ridiculous standards? That’s nonsense. Hopefully, this campaign will extend even further than just the run and will go on to empower women all over the world. Your body is amazing just the way it is. It can do amazing things. Celebrate it. Love it. Be kind to it.