Dear Fitness Brands

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Dear Fitness Brands,

Hi, I hope you've been well. Judging by the social media content you've been pushing and your Instagram accounts, you seem perfect (like literally perfect). Bright, strong, happy, and though you seem to be doing some ass kicking workouts, you never sweat! Anyways, the reason I'm writing you is a little selfish. You see, I love following you on Instagram because you provide some serious eye candy in addition to some inspiration that complements my quest to put my strongest foot forward. But there is a problem; I'm disappointed that I don't see myself or any other body type among any of the women you feature.

I get it, you have clothing and a lifestyle that you need to sell and the best way to do that is to display images of women who look like they're in the best shape of their lives. But here's the thing, I'm in the best shape of my life. I run a sub 4 hour marathon and I'm a US size 8. I'm really tired of this image that perpetuates the idea that in order to be strong, fit, or in shape, you have to look a certain way because I know that's not the case. I've never worked harder or been more proud of my body than I do today but you're making it hard for me to feel good about myself when you don't represent me.

When I first started running, I thought I would finally acquire that tiny "runner's body" that you proudly feature. You know the one, a tiny waist, some foxy abs, strong but tiny quads, biceps, and triceps, no boobs so I can rock a tiny sports bra (that doesn't really offer support), a tiny or non-existent ass, and tiny sculpted calves. I believed you when you showed me what it looked like to be in shape because that's the image you sold me on. So I started running! And against all odds, I fell in love with running and I ran a marathon. Then I ran four more marathons! And now, here I am, a sub 4 hour marathoner and I still look absolutely nothing like the women you feature in your ads and Instagram feeds.

Now don't get me wrong, the women you feature are beautiful! I look at them and think, "Yes! What a bad ass!" I just no longer aspire to look like them. I'm finally at a place where I look in the mirror and feel proud of the powerful body that I work really f*cking hard for. My quads and calves are huge and they have these awesome muscles that I feel proud of whenever I wear shorts. I don't have a thigh gap and I still have cellulite! I have a runner's body because guess what, I'm a runner!

I think what I'm trying to say is that it's not me, it's you. I think you'd find that the women who want to stay loyal to your brand will do just that if you represent them. I'm ready for something different. And it's not about representing more women who look like me, it's about representing all women. The tall, short, slender, curvy, and muscular women! There are so many different beautiful and powerful body types! Where are they? I see them when I workout and run but I don't see them featured on your channels or in your brand.

I know your heart is in the right place. You just want to help women look their best while they workout. But when you only show one type of woman, you make us feel like we're not good enough and that's bull shit. Look around. We're all working hard, chasing down our goals. We want to see our bodies represented because we all look different in your $125 yoga pants.

Love always,

Kelly

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Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.