Sweating during a workout feels amazing. Your skin has this intense glow as you power through your session with pride. It's like every toxin is escaping your body and what you're left with is a beautiful body from the inside out. But, if you've ever left the gym and headed out to run errands immediately after, you might know it takes quite some time for your body to chill out. Whether you're in the grocery store, at CVS or hitting up the coffee shop, it can be quite embarrassing to walk about with drenched clothes as your face feels like it's falling off of you. But, anyone can tell the difference between someone who is having a sweat attack and someone who just pushed their body through an amazing spin class. But if you still get weird looks or a snarky comment, then you're not alone.
Amy Roe had just finished an impressive 12-mile run when she hit up Starbucks to get her morning buzz. Covered in sweat, she wasn't prepared for what happened next. Here is her story:
I was ordering coffee when I noticed a well-dressed woman staring at me.
“You look like you just did a class,” she said, giving me the once-over. I had no idea what she meant so I said nothing.
“Or swimming?” she offered, with a tight smile.
. I’d just run 12 miles and the hair sticking out from under my hat was wet. It took me a moment to formulate an answer.
“Um, running,” I mumbled finally. “I just … sweat a lot.”
I took the paper cup of drip coffee and hustled past the condiment bar. Screw the half-and-half; I’d drink it black.
Once safely inside my car, I threw off my damp running cap and flipped up the hood of my sweatshirt in embarrassment. I wanted to dive deep into that Lululemon Scuba and never come back up for air.
Eventually the caffeine kicked in and it hit me: I’d been sweat-shamed. Sweat-shaming is when someone points out your sweatiness as a way to signal disapproval. Like its counterparts, slut-shaming and fat-shaming, sweat-shaming is aimed mainly at women, who are actually not supposed to sweat at all.
Horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow, as the saying goes.
Rather than challenge sweat-shaming, I played right into it, conceding that I “sweat a lot.”
But do I, really? We have been hiding this natural bodily function so long we have no idea how much a “normal” woman sweats – if there is such a thing – much the same way many men have no idea how much makeup it takes to produce “natural” beauty.
Now, instead of just concealing sweat, we may opt to stop it entirely. A flurry of recent “trend” articles describe
how some women are getting Botox injected into in their scalps to keep their heads from sweating, thus preserving their blow-outs through intense SoulCycle sessions.
Pharmaceuticals may one day liberate us from perspiration. But what if instead we chose to be liberated by it?
If I were to re-imagine the sweat-shaming incident as a music video, it would play out like this: a spotlight comes down, and maybe a disco ball. Baristas dance back-up around me.
“I don’t think you’re ready for this sweaty,” I belt out, to the tune of Bootylicious.
It’s just a fantasy, but it helps me see how I might react differently. I’ve got another long run this weekend and afterward, I’m going to sit down with my coffee, all sweaty and transgressive.
The stigmas surrounding women’s bodies are powerful, but they’re no match for how powerful I feel after running.
What do you think of the points Roe brought about regarding sweat-shaming?
Source: The Guardian
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