Monday morning I got a good dose of anger with my tea. A friend had sent me an article from DIRTRAG magazine by a cycling goddess names Katherine Fuller, “Interbike, #sockgate and women in cycling,” where I learned of an extremely offensive incident at September's Interbike conference, the bike industry’s biggest trade show. In short, the gift bags for attendees had been stuffed with socks decorated with women in thong bikinis with their butt cheeks on display.
Further reading on Surly’s blog from Jules’s piece “Sex Sells” informed me that this was not the only affront to biking women last week. Chrome promoted their new biking shoes by having topless women in underwear hand out flyers while wearing them. I’ve heard many women ask for women’s cycling shoes. After the long wait for a product for women, there is a mostly naked woman walking around the streets promoting it. Pretty disappointing to say the least.
All this negativity is not to bring you down. Rather, it has caused me to reflect on what I bring to the table with my business for and by women. I create products and content exactly how I would want them as a biking woman consumer. Here are a few areas where you can expect something different:
No images of overly sexualized, sickly, air brushed women in products to keep feeding unhealthy body images. Women and women’s bodies are not here solely to entertain men or to sell goods. Images and marketing that implies this is an affront to the power we bring to this world. You will not see this type of advertising in my content.
Products designed and chosen by women for women. As I design and create each piece I think about exactly what I want: colors, style, function. There is no boardroom of men sitting around imagining what you might like to wear, what color is the new pink for women or imagining that women’s clothes have always fit a certain way and will continue to do so. I am a woman, creating for women.
My pieces are built for real women’s bodies and not corporate caricatures. The status quo in the design industry is to work with a model for fit and then expand the sizing from there. My sizing is based on sizing common among biking women. Often, we have hips, butts, and sturdy biking thighs. We are real biking women.