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In which I feel like a creep.

I was chitchatting with a friend a while back and we talked about proper attire for ladies in the gym at BYU.  I told her about a girl at the gym that wore a shirt with a huge neck that kept slipping off of one or the other of her shoulders and how it made me laugh because it seemed like her purpose in going to the gym was to distract boys.  Even though I laughed at her it was annoying because she was distracting.  I told my friend that I think it pretty ridiculous for lady folk (okay, mostly but not exclusively lady folk) to be traipsing about in skin-tight and revealing clothing just because they are going to the gym.

She asked me why I find it so distracting and whose fault that was.  This is where I felt like a creep.  Maybe these girls were just going to the gym to work out and they were just wearing clothes that were comfortable and fit the activity best.  She told me that form-fitting clothing makes it easier to move freely and perform at your best.  And here I am leering at these poor girls like some kind of pervert, lusting after their bodies when all they want to do is work out the best they can.  Sickening.

Okay.  I’m not leering at them and I’m not lusting after them.  I’m just being distracted by them.  This doesn’t make me a creepster, right?  My wishing that they would cover their bodies a little bit more is just to make it easier for me to work out without having my desire to procreate continuously piqued.  I think I find it so distracting because I am  a man and I am attracted to women.  I am pretty sure that the distraction would be removed completely were that not so.  I’m glad for the attraction though and the distraction is a natural manifestation, not a disgusting perversion.

As to whose fault that is … I guess we could blame God for making men and women want to reproduce?  That doesn’t seem terribly productive though.  I think probably the blame goes to the girl for wearing skimpy clothing.  Does this make her bad?  I can’t judge her motivation, but probably not.  Everybody wants attention, and even if she is wearing ridiculous outfits in order to get attention and not in order to work out more efficiently that doesn’t make her wicked.  I might suggest to her that while she is certianly not destined for hellfire, perhaps she is destined to be the recipient of the wrong sort of attention.  That might be a problem eventually.

What of the claim that skimpier or more form fitting outfits really are best for performance?  Judging by the disparity in workout clothing for men and women, I’m not convinced.  I did a Google search for “men’s Olympic beach volleyball” and specified “-women -girls” and still got mostly images of female Olympians in bikinis.  The few photographs of men show that they wear considerably more than their female counterparts.  If wearing less really were that beneficial, wouldn’t the men be wearing less too?  Probably there’s another motivation for the difference in outfits and probably that motivation has something to do with sex selling and women being used for their bodies.

I really hate that.  I also really hate that a side effect of that is women being made to feel that they need an impossible, “perfect” body and that they aren’t worth anything unless they’ve got it.  In reality a woman’s worth is intrinsicnot determined by her body shape.  So, in conclusion, I guess, love and value yourself, and don’t believe the lies of the world.  Also, maybe if you have time, stop distracting me at the gym.  Sheesh.


  1. Elizabeth wrote:

    That is why I workout at a gym that is exclusively for women. So I can wear my skin tight body revealing clothes and not worry about perverts like you. OK so I don’t think you are a pervert, you are a man and everything you said is true. Sex sells and unfortunately everyone knows that. It is also true that formfitting clothing is easier to work out in, but I guess it doesn’t have to be too formfitting. I think wearing a shirt that keeps falling off her body is ridiculous and not good workout clothing. She was doing it to get attention, and it worked.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink
  2. Emily wrote:

    I agree with Elizabeth. you are a man and not a creepster =)
    Alot of girls go to the gym to pick up on guys and so yes, they dress accordingly.
    Sorry that you have to deal with that. So annoying!

    Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink
  3. Ashers wrote:

    Girls that go to the gym to attract boys can always be spotted because (1) they are wearing makeup and their hair is nice (2) they are not sweaty and (3) they are on the machines for 5 minutes and the stretching mats for an hour.

    Monday, December 13, 2010 at 2:30 am | Permalink
  4. Daphna wrote:

    you brought up some good points, and i never thought about women vs. men when it comes to athletic gear, that’s really interesting.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

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