• Jenny Griffiths

    Oh wow, “not ashamed enough to succumb to an eating disorder”! Where do I start with that comment? You seriously need to be more careful of your wording here. As if people with eating disorders have ‘succumbed’ to the disorder – you make it sound like a personal choice! Please edit, this is incredibly disrespectful and lacks any understanding of what people with an eating disorder go through.

  • Mel

    My sister and I had a discussion about this, mainly after noticing on some photos post ride about our ‘muffin tops’ over our socks from our calves. But you know what, we had a laugh and moved on as we both realised our ‘not so lean and model like legs’ got our arses up some steep hills and long rides.
    Its unfortunate that society has an image for women they they must all be skinny and fit, wear make up and look pristine on the bike but seriously where is the fun in that??
    Give me a long ride with mates, a coffee or hell even a beer at the end and dont forget that burger or Burrito ;)
    They say ride to eat or eat to ride so thats what ill keep doing and if my sausage legs or squishy hips show a little more then ill just have to sprint faster past you!!

    • Luke Farrugia

      Love that you have a laugh about societies “pressures” Mel.
      I think everyone in society is pressured to look or act a certain way, given any situation, industry, gender, age etc.

      Do what you love and love what you do :-) Not how you look doing it.

  • Min McDonald

    Every Sunday morning I head out to ride with a bunch of amazing women. The youngest is 24 and the oldest is in her fifties. We recently designed our own kit for fun…and sizes ranged from extra small to extra large and everything in between. We talk about life, family, food, world issues and strava…but there is one subject we have never touched on…how we look! The societal pressures are definitely out there – but we get to make the choice whether we engage in that or not. I loved this article and I’m so glad you can continue celebrate your strength and your enjoyment of cycling, and continue to enjoy your post ride burger. Let’s keep focusing on the joy it brings us…and bring other women along for the ride: Literally and figuratively! :)

    • Dianebflemming4

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    • Brittenytcesar3

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !ie723t:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash963TopDragonGetPay$97Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!ie723t:….,……..

  • Eden Walker

    So, the female cycling industry largely ignores women like me. I’m outside the accepted norms in that NO ONE makes jerseys to fit women outside the 175cm block size. I’m 187cm tall so i’m screwed. I don’t have a muffin top in fact i have very little body fat 8% and i don’t have to work at it it’s all genetic and while society might hold up tall skinny women they certainly don’t make cycling clothes for us and we look equally as funny in our lycra

  • Kate Lucas

    Such a relevant article to how women are viewed by society in general not just on a bike. All women face these insecurities even if they are fought against, society dictates….We must keep holding our heads high and be proud of who we are and what we achieve. I look at pictures of myself on a bike and pick it apart too, I am lean but I find myself thinking ooh skinny calves and wish I wasn’t completely flat chested and boy like. Oh and the horrible veins that stick out since I had my second child. Seriously? So what! I know this to be true but we will always judge ourselves. Women rock, let’s not forget it!

    • Luke Farrugia


      PEOPLE ROCK! Why are females so hamstrung on saying it’s female advertising and you (collectively) are being hard done by. Guys are targeted in the same way. There is a certain ‘look’ that defines a successful guy. Can’t recall seeing a fat Bachelor. Can’t recall hearing many if any females gush over any overweight hollywood celebrity…all that attention gets directed to lean, sharp looking men.

      “I know this to be true but we will always judge ourselves.”

      But it’s still a female issue? Female has no relevance in this article or the responses. It’s a people issue. This article had the means to be something very worthy of the discussions that are beginning to take place, or that at least I am involved. But it stops short at limiting it to cycling and females.

      I realise it’s a female cycling article…but imagine if it tackled the issue we seem so prevalent in society now. So many aren’t happy with how they look, not just certain parts of their body but who and how they were actually born as.

      I’d love to see the article evolve from this. Notably as this is about a look and marketing/advertising…and not much at all about the fit of clothing itself.

      Any researchers/writers out there?

      “Love what your body allows you to achieve, not what it looks like!” could be a great following article.

    • Kate Lucas

      Of course you have a point Luke re advertising but the response is to a woman’s article aimed at women. Go and moan about men’s issues elsewhere.

      • Luke Farrugia

        I think I have responded to this issue in it being aimed at females on a female blog about a female issue already.

        What I have said is its not an issue specific to females OR cycling.

        This sort of self consciousness to not meeting a “look” is previlent across society.

        I’m far from having a moan. On the contrary…id say a pro cyclist complaining about not looking like a pro cyclist is having a moan.

        …but then that’s not the right thing to say is it? And so I responded more at length as to why I believe this.

        Just because a pro cyclist can’t be happy with how she looks doesn’t mean every other female cyclist can’t.

        I think that does huge injustice to many females who are quite happy with their bodies both without and with cycling augmenting it.

  • Legstrong

    This applies to male cyclists as well, or at least me. :)

    Spandex or lycra is too technical term for regular people in the US. I crashed badly in a race several years ago and was at the ER of one the biggest hospitals in town to have a hand surgery. The nurses (male and female) kept referring to my race kit as a leotard. They kept saying something like “Just cut that leotard away.” :) They didn’t look like they were joking around (given the severity of my hand at that time as well).

  • winkybiker

    The mental shift we have to make is from the idea that advertisers’ selection of models is completely irrelevant to absolutely everything that matters. Easier said than done, but I simply have created a prejudice in my mind that leads to complete contempt for the advertising “creatives” themselves and anything they do. So to me, their choices are comical at best, irrelevant at worst and I can safely ignore them.

    • Luke Farrugia

      I think you’ll find there is a detachment between advertising creatives and casters.
      Creatives more often than not don’t deal with the end result. They create the concept. I hear you though…those that ‘cast’ sometimes have a lot to answer for.

      This being said…why is it only clothing people complain about? There are products left right and centre that don’t suit people but they don’t complain about the product being shown in the best light.

      Would we be happy with products being shot on a table and put into a magazine? Perhaps evn used ones with marks?
      Do people complain and bitch about display homes…when in fact what you see is 200k+ in furnishings above what they sell you the house as?
      Is a car ever shown in a display room dirty and used with food in the back, baby seats, smelling like dog?

      I think peoples expectations are a bit ridiculous these days. Do we want to start changing the look of manikins in stores because they don’t represent the norm? Or do we just accept that its there to display a product?

      As an example…I love the Rapha brand. What it stands for and the service offered. I look NOTHING like ANY of the models they use and their fit on some items misses…but I accept that their advertising is there to not only create an emotional attachment to their brand but also showcase their product. The ‘model’ means little to me above seeing how the product looks on a person, as apposed to a table or manikin.

      Ultimately if we want to be compeltely PC, let’s not even put cycle (sports) clothing on a manikin or person. Let’s take pics of them on a coat-hanger or a table.

      • winkybiker

        I guess my point is that we are only upset or “frustrated” (as another poster here put it) if we ascribe significance to the choice of those who create the idiotic advertising. We can only be offended by any of this if we choose to be. Best to laugh at their failure to de relevant, or perhaps it’s best simply to ignore them. I don’t care who they use for models. They don’t look like me. So what?

        • Luke Farrugia

          I stand with you on your points winky. I disregard most advertising and marketing.

          But then the issue is more ones own image and contentment.

          What would said author say if she became the “look” to those that don’t look like her?

          Can’t please everyone so just as you say ignore it and worry about more important things like riding form etc

  • omg what is with cycling brands advertising their products on stick thin models?! even if they are genuine ‘real cyclists’ its not what most women look like and it really frustrates me when marketing teams choose unrealistic models – especially if their brand purports to market to the ‘everyday woman’

    • Luke Farrugia

      OMG what is with people like you complaining about advertising.

      Would it be better if all models were overweight…even if they were cyclists or did whatever they were selling? Would that be better?
      How about we pic the average look. Sure…somewhere in the middle. Well no..because overweight people will still complain about them. Skinny people or those at the top level wouldn’t be best represented.

      They are MODELING CLOTHING!! You need to pic A LOOK to showcase your brand. Who really gives a s^%* about what THEY look like. If you think they look magnificent, and aspire to look the same when in the clothing, then the marketer, brand AND model have done a bloody good job! Which is the whole point of marketing.

      If you can’t differentiate how something will look on a model….and something where the clothing has probably been manipulated for the photo shoot to look PERFECT….and how it will look on you, then the issue is YOU.

      Go into bike stores and find something that fits and looks and feels right. If you are buying online and getting riled up about it not fitting right then again…the issue is YOU and wanting to save money rather than pay more for the ability to find the right fit in a store.

      If you want to complain about advertising then boo hoo to you. First World Problems. Go chat to a paraplegic cyclist and see how they feel about advertising!

      Also..WTF is an ‘everyday woman’? Seriously? What is an ‘everyday man?’ You truly believe that there is a SPECIFIC GENERAL AND AVERAGE LOOK for a man and/or woman? You really think that?

  • Lisa B

    I have a nice bust, phenomenal legs and calves and a small butt. However I carry 5-10 pounds on my stomach and all I do is obsess over it. Before cycling I was 30 pounds heavier. I got down to this weight point about 6 years ago and at age 58 I can’t seem to get any thinner, even riding over 12 hours every week- about 150-200 miles per week close to 10.000 miles per year. I want to lose the roll around my middle but I eat no junk food and only healthy food, and this is all I can do to maintain my weight. I think WHY do I stress like this? so many women in this world could not even walk out the door in lycra. A lot of women would probably kill for my body but I spent at least 50% of my thoughts on what am I going to eat/not eat…how can I lose this stomach? How disgusting do I look? How fat do I look in these race photos? and on and on and on…I mean it sucks! What is wrong with us? I was shocked to read in the comments that some women get upset because they have a flat chest. I am jealous of those with zero body fat and no chest and can go out like that!! I dont know the solution really. it is SAD!!

    • Luke Farrugia

      The answer is very simple.

      Are you riding for yourself or others?

      This is true for ability/skill and looks.

      Same philosophy for anything in life in finding contentment and happiness.

      I’ll be happy if I am still able to ride at 58. It’s what makes me happy. Getting out and riding.

      I do a lot of solo Kms so perhaps I’m immune to a pack mentality of fitting into a look.

      There’s a lot ignored made from making people feel inadequate. It’s why we all go out to buy the thing that will make us feel faster. Be it placebo or not.

      Also keep in mind that you can’t sustain an extremely low fat body. Not without incredible diet and refueling…so a bit of fat just means you e got some in store for when you need it.


  • MJ

    I do find it slightly ironic that next to this article is a clothing advert in the exact format that is being complained about – stick thin female model looking like she’s barely out of breath at the top of a climb…


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