Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's . . . Photostock Girl!

I really hate exercise blogs and the photos they use. The people depicted in these photos are not normal people. They are models. If you want to see pictures of real athletes, use Google and look up the top women runners of all time and see what a professional athlete looks like. If you want to see what an amateur athlete looks like, go to a race site and look at some race photos of people who ranked 10th in their age group, or 100th. All of them are athletes. Athletes don't typically have a lack of sweat glands, perfect hair, or for that matter, a smile on their face. No one looks that good when they exercise.

In addition to the people they chose for these photos, these models aren't even outfitted correctly. They wear things you shouldn't wear to lift weights, or worse -

In preparation for the Solvang Century ride in March, I searched the web for a beginners training plan and found this article from Shape Magazine: Ride More than 100 Miles in 8 Weeks. Anyone see a problem with that picture? If you are a true beginner - maybe not. Let me help you. See the bike? It's a mountain bike, or maybe even a hybrid.

For the love of God do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT train for a century ride on a mountain bike or hybrid. YOU WILL DIE. Ok, all extremities aside. A picture is worth a thousand words. And in this case - it was all kinds of wrong.

A mountain bike is made for mountain trails, and a hybrid is made for, well, picking up groceries or going for a ride in the park. Neither are made for a 100 mile road cycling event - they are way too heavy and don't have the proper components. Does a magazine intended to promote women's exercise not know the difference? They should.

My favorite triathlon writer, Susan Lacke, wrote a brilliant article that poked some fun at lame stock photos. After I read it, and posted it for other's amusement, it seems it was taken down. (I wonder if the stock photo site people got upset.) So, you just have to believe me. It was funny.

Because my blog is not as public, or for that matter, not as well written as an article by Susan, I'm going to take a chance and post some photo evidence I've found recently.

Ever since I read Susan's article, one Photostock girl in particular keeps rearing her skinny arms and perfect hair in my face. She is everything America's Next Top Model would want: she looks young, she is a size 2 or smaller, and she is racially ambiguous.

I feel like she is taunting me.
She is in my Facebook feed, not even breaking a sweat. And she brought a friend.

She was on a pamphlet I received in my Chicago Marathon swag bag.

She is being used to promote online training tools. 
Even the Jewish Community Center is using her image to run promotions.

Who is Photostock Girl and where did she come from? I hope she is at least making a profit from all of her posing. I would like to find Photostock Girl and challenge her to a race and see what she's really made of. I would like to see if she looks that good without editing. Maybe she is more than a poser.

Where are you Photostock Girl? I challenge you.

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