Open LettersAn Open Letter to Girls Who Dress Up For The GymAnnie Stamell

Dear Girls Who Dress Up For the Gym,

Oh Sweetie (and I mean “sweetie” in the most condescending way you could possibly imagine, probably accompanied by pursed lips and a shake of my head). Don’t be that girl! You know, that girl in the perfectly coordinated Lycra spandex and the just barely-there make-up and precisely pieced up just-so hair that doesn’t even move a centimeter while she gracefully swings her arms on the elliptical machine. Don’t do that! We’re at the gym! A place where people are required to dress like slobs! A place where excessive sweating and body odor are not only expected, but welcome! A place reserved specifically for people to wear mismatched clothes and no make-up and disheveled hair and then huff and puff and get red in the face and perspire in awkward locations while increasing the angle on the treadmill and hopefully not falling off!

Now that I’m what some might consider “an adult”, the prevalence of the Girl Who Dresses Up For the Gym has certainly diminished. It was much worse when I was in college. College girls are the biggest offenders of dressing up for the gym. I once remember seeing a girl high-kick on a stairmaster with a ribbon in her hair and a popped collar on her Ralph Lauren polo. Do you want to know what I wear to the gym? I wear the really attractive combination of old leggings that have stared to pill and have a hole in the knee with an over-sized ratty t-shirt that says “Raoul” on it and flaunts my membership to the Berwick Academy Pep Band (I don’t even know if Berwick Academy is a real place, you guys).  Usually I go to the gym in the morning, when I have just woken up so my eyes are puffy and bloodshot and my hair looks like Bob Marley stuck his finger in an electrical socket and then got blown up in a house fire. That is totally normal. That is the look of a normal girl who begrudgingly makes time to exercise. I mean, I should get an award for merely showing up at the gym (and so should everyone who ever works out, for the record). It’s like if you dress up or actively make yourself look pretty prior to working out you’re just flaunting it in my face and also you’re probably not even going to work out, so get off that machine it’s my turn!

The gym is not a place to look your best. The gym is a place where you do annoying and often painful things to your body with the knowledge that an hour from now you’re going to look great and hopefully a month from now, even better.

Part of the fun in going to the gym is that by the end of your workout you look so terrible and wretched that the getting-ready process turns into your own Pretty Woman-style makeover. Or it’s like you’re Tai from Clueless and “you could be a farmer in those clothes,” but in less than two hours you’ve transformed into Cher, “nice stems” and all! You get a before and after montage everyday if you start out looking gross. I mean, that alone makes it worthwhile!



Featured Image from Clueless, via Breaking Curfew

  • Sayla Mandy Friske

    Hey I have an idea…why don’t you wear whatever ratty stained shirt you want to the gym and let everyone else wear what they feel comfortable in? I don’t think we should ever be judging each others personal style. Consider becoming a more empathetic person and try not to judge people you don’t even know for something like the appearance they choose. All that is important is being kind to one another.

  • Brittany Foote

    Never underestimate people who work out and run. They are VERYYYY serious about it. Think of anyone you know who runs, how often do they talk about how they run. All the time. Congrats you move fast, oh and you look cute doing it!! Get over yourself.

  • Ashley Maffioli

    not only do i agree with this but what about the girls who paint their face up and throw on high heels for football games or rock concerts. really?!

  • Clare Bamford

    Just look at those Clueless girls and think about how silly they look, and chuckle a little. Please?

  • Clare Bamford

    People are waaaaaay too serious on here. I mean really, take a freakin’ chill pill people, not everything is meant to be taken seriously. Calm down everyone. It’s not a big deal. This article wasn’t about “hatin” on those girls at the gym. I mean, what’s the harm in poking a little fun, and making others laugh. Just everyone chill out and stop taking everything so seriously. LAUGH!

  • Abby Lindsey

    this is lighthearted and hilarious! don’t turn it into something it’s not! keep it fun, girls!

  • Leah Dennis

    I dont mind make-up or cute clothes but when girls wear their long hair DOWN at the gym, you know they arent there to work out, so annoying

  • Erin Kowalsky

    You’re just a HATER! :)

  • Jaymee Susino

    Some of us only have time to go to the gym on our lunch breaks because we have zero free time :/ I use the only free hour I have a day to work my ass off.. It’s not like I bother to wash my makeup off and muss my hair up BEFORE the gym.

  • Jessica Ellen O’Riley

    Well that’s all well and good but sometimes there’s a guy in your boxfit class who looks like Heath Ledger and exceptions need to be made. Ok?

    • Sherry Kevech

      You go, girl

  • Jessica Kutok

    hahaha that is hilarious.
    There is this one girl who goes to my gym who’s always on the elliptical who has long blonde platinum hair perfectly brushed, let down, and hairpsrayed so it doesn’t move an inch and she’s barely wearing any clothes. Such a disgrace!

  • Sarah Hanasewych

    I don’t think this article was written to insult these women, but as a friendly reminder that the gym is a place you go to work on fitness not look good. Not too mention most of these end up just getting in the way at the gym, they just stand on the machines fixing themselves as opposed to actually working out. And for those of us that actually do go to the gym with a fitness goal in mind it can throw us off and get a lot of people frustrated, it’s like if I went into Sephora and started doing jumping jacks and kettle bell swings, there’s a time and place for everything ladies.

  • Crystal Marie Acot Hair

    I dnt know abt you, but I know when I’m on a treadmill training for a marathon, and I’m at minimum running two hours, no ratty tshirt and a pair of spandex is going to cut it. I need drifit tanks, shorts, and professional running shoes, and yes they do happen to coordinate. I think the more you start to take what you do seriously, everything becomes serious. Its like having a job, where you’re required to wear a suit. And yes, I dnt every really leave the house, without some tinted moisturizer, and a fresh coat of mascara on. Just cause the author of this article wants to be “casual” doesn’t require me to be be so. I have serious gear for some serious training, and if your so busy gliding on the eliptical machine, why is it your so concerned with what everyone else is doing anyway. I’m sure your clothes match exactly the level of exercise your banging out anyway. Crank your Ipod up and get you head in the game, focus on you and leave the real stuff to “us” sweeties

  • Amanda Rodriguez

    People need to lighten up. I doubt she meant this in a mean way. Its just one of those silly things that pops in your head and makes you giggle. I’m sure she just posted it because she thought hey other girls might find the same thing silly too. Heck I used to put make up on and stuff when I’d work out and all that, but I can still laugh about this.

  • Sara Mallory

    I get this point of view, but it kind of rubbed me the wrong way too. 1) I go to the gym straight from work, so yes, I have make up on, and yeah, my hair’s probably not too bad either. But it’s definitely going up in a topknot for the workout. 2) I think feeling awesome at the gym is really important – and if cute workout clothes – I mean, who can resist Lululemon? – are what works for people, who am I to judge? I don’t think people should wear things non-conducive to exercise because they are cute – tanks with major cleavage and velour sweatsuits a la Juicy come to mind – but that’s ME. if you are psyched on how you look and that gets you pumped to sweat so you can keep looking that way? Rock on, sister. I know that my favorite work out shirt is bright red and dri-fit and nike. Its high tech and awesome, and the red makes me feel powerful, and kick-ass. You know?

  • Sophie Iannuzzi

    All’s I know is Amber has some crazy C-toe going on in that photo………

  • Holly Paton

    I am totally there with you if we are talking about a morning workout! If I am going to shower after and put on real clothes then why bother with makeup, etc. HOWEVER, I usually head to the gym directly after class and I also ride my bike to class, so I am typically wearing my “gym clothes” to class and through the city on my bike. Therefore, instead of looking like a slob the entire day every day, I DO go out of my way to invest in the cute workout clothes and I will be wearing some makeup and my hair will be purposefully put up. And if I look good while I am there I feel better and it makes me want to keep going. AND I bust my ass just as hard!

  • Caycie Waddell

    I notice this too…but even worse are the people who chit chat on their cell phones while doing a half-ass workout on the cardio machines. Zip it or go outside and free up the machine for someone else.

  • Sandra Ann Sanchez

    Interesting… wasn’t this written a week ago? Not that this is a completely unique rant, but I couldn’t help but notice the similarity here.

  • Hernandez Diaz

    It’s the gym, its Like P.E. Class you Paid to skip~look ugly and comfy~

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