So, I've been in London a few weeks now, and I've been trying to work out and go running and all that stuff so that it's slightly more realistic that I will not die when I run Kobe marathon in November (although I keep hoping a bit that it might be cancelled due to rain or something...).
I've done quite well in the free work out department, I got free tickets to the gym my Dad goes to, because he just asked about day passes. It's just the local one run by the local council, but getting in free made me very happy. And then, I found out something a little bit amazing.
Nike have a Training camp, for women, in loads of places around London, a few times a week. The best part is it's free! Yay! Actually, that's not even the best part, the best part is that it's free and they give you free stuff! I got a T-shirt for just showing my face the first time. Which I had totally earned because it poured with rain while we did sit ups on the grass. While people scuttled past, looking at us like we were properly weird. But, forget feeling embarrassed! Did I mention the free T-shirt?!
It wasn't just the fact that I was doing sit ups in the rain while people looked at me like I'd got a screw loose that made me feel uncomfortable. It wasn't even the flasbacks to school PE lessons when the teacher refused to acknowledge it as cold and made us play netball wearing little skirts while she was all bundled up in a ski jacket (well, it was the 90s). It wasn't even my complete social ineptness (how does everyone else know to stand in a cirlce? And how did I end up in the middle?) What made me uncomfortable was my fashion choice.
You see, Japanese women wear an insane amount of clothing at all times, regardless of their butt size. Even at the gym, most women cover up as if they had something to hide. I once forgot the shorts to wear over my leggings at my Japanese gym and people looked at me as if I'd forgotten to wear a top. But, English women? Meh, leggings and a T-shirt, that'll do. Who cares if you've got an arse the size of Brazil? You're there to try to remedy that situation. And it's all women, all girls together, girl power and all that.
Going to a park to run around for all the word to see your wobbly bits wrapped in leggings, and not seeming to care too much about the wobble shows a certain amount of body confidence. It's OK in England to dress in a way that shows your good points, not care too much about the bad, and not feel as if you have to dress in a tent to hide the shape you are. You can even wear leggings without a pair of shorts over the top, and no one will gasp with shock. Lovely.
Having said that, I picked up a magazine the other day, and it had a whole heap of articles about famous women who are actually quite slim thinking they are huge and dieting to get thinner. Their aim seems to be size 0. It's so strange to me that, in a country of all shapes and sizes, women in the public eye are made to feel they have to look like a lollipop to be attractive. Maybe they need to grab some leggings and run around the park with the Nike Trainng Camp, their bums can't wobble any more than mine.