It was September 6th, the year: 736 B.C. The sea was crystal clear, the sun shone directly overhead and the cool blue air smelled strongly of Oikos Greek yogurt. This fateful day was incredibly important for MOD Sportswear. Huntress, Atalanta, of Ancient Greece, ran up and down white sandy beaches, refusing to marry any man that couldn’t outrun her in a foot race. But most importantly she ran in a skirt, the first running skirt.
Rise of Running Skirts
While we cannot be 100% sure of whether Atalanta ran in the MOD Spirit SportSkirt or the Classic SportSkirt, one thing that we can be sure of is the current rise of running skirt culture. Since, 2004 when Nicole DeBoom, (right) a graduate of Yale, ran and won the Ironman Wisconsin triathlon in her
personally designed skirt, running skirts have risen in popularity and legitimacy. Three days after her victory Nicole founded Skirt Sports, a company that sells and celebrates women’s activewear, because she was tired of “look[ing] like a boy” and feeling “uninspired” while training.
After Skirt Sports, running skirts began popping up everywhere. Just to give a few examples: In June of 2007, Beverly Anderson-Abbs won the women’s masters division of the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run… #inaskirt. Along with Sally Meyerhof, who in April 2008, finished 20th in the Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials … #inaskirt.
Running Skirts and Female Empowerment in Athletics
Running Skirts are symbol of athletic femininity in an industry that historically has struggled to empower women. Both nationally and internationally, we have made great strides to increase female participation in sports, but we still have far to go. For example, since the establishment of Title IX legislation, the percentage of women participating in US collegiate athletics has risen by over 600%. Also from an international standpoint, the 2012 Olympics, marked the first Olympics where every country sent women to the games. These are great examples of progress. However according to the NCAA, women athletes still have over 60,000 less participation opportunities than male athletes. We need to continue the fight for inclusion in sports.
Wearing a running skirt is a statement validating past efforts to bring equality to female athletics and also a stake in the ground that, in the future, women should not feel pressured to “look like a boy” in order be considered a competent athlete. You are a part of something bigger!
Here at MOD Sportswear, we believe not only the importance of empowering women, but we also believe that modesty can be a part of women’s activewear. This is why MOD’s SportSkirts are longer than the skirts of other women’s activewear companies. We believe in modesty. On Facebook we asked our customers, why they think Modesty is beautiful. These were some of the responses given:
Why Modesty is Beautiful
“Modesty is beautiful because I think it empowers women to embrace themselves without having to let it all out. It allows others to look at them based on their character and not what they have under their clothes of lack there of.” – Erica Palmer
“I love the fact that you make the most amazing and girly modest apparel. I don’t have to go work out at the gym and feel like everyone is staring at me. Modest doesn’t have to be dated, out of style, or frumpy. It is a beautiful thing to dress and be modest and feminine.” – Devon Marie Propst
Something we stand by, here at MOD, are the words of the Proverbs 31, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” MOD strives to make women feel that they do not have to be afraid of what others might think of them. Instead we hope to inspire women to feel comfortable and strong in their own modesty and femininity. In other words, at MOD you are not only apart of something bigger but also something longer.