In honor of Women’s History month I thought it would be appropriate to talk about an amazing pioneer. I had the honor of speaking with Nicole De Boom, CEO of a company based in Boulder called Skirt Sports. I interviewed Nicole for GEM Radio and most of what we talked about was her product- the running skirt. De Boom has a long history in competitive sports, even making it pro in the triathlon. Her skirt was developed as a way for her to feel pretty during arduous training and competition.
As an owner of a Skirt Sports running skirts, I will attest to the usability. I have run in skirts from better known brands with larger marketing dollars- but will stand my belief in the fact that this product is by far the best and most comfortable running skirt out there. It doesn’t ride up, and the length is perfect. And please be aware that this is a completely unsolicited endorsement! I just love the skirt (and other athletic clothing available) and I love that the company was started by a female athlete doing something she is passionate about!
I love Nicole’s story. As a somewhat competitive athlete myself, (I honestly laugh at myself even saying that because I only race… but don’t really compete because I am never fast enough at anything to put myself in that category) I have often found myself feeling less than “pretty” during my training. Whether it has been marathon training, triathlon training, or just going for a hike, the workout clothes have never really been geared towards that feminine mystique. Although I am not what one would call a “girly girl”, I love to be feminine.
I do believe there is a difference between the two. It’s okay to celebrate femininity in all aspects of our lives. It’s okay to dabble in pink, without the connotation of “I am not a pink girl”. Funny how a color lends itself to such criticism. I guess it goes back to our gender bias and desire to buck the trend of who society thinks we are and should be, rather than who we are.
Defined by a color. Are you a purple girl? Red? Whatever your color- somehow it’s a connection to your own femininity. There is nothing wrong with identifying with that. For everyone it’s different. Femininity and our connections to it are so deeply personal.
And of course in girl world, up for a great deal of scrutiny. Long or short hair, skirts or pants, pink or black. Girl world is vicious and as we grow older learn how to navigate it somewhat diplomatically, but it never really gets nicer or easier. How we define ourselves theoretically should be in the eye of the beholder, but we all know deep down it’s not.
There is always that girl whose legs you wish you had. Whose hair, whose style, whose body, whose sense of humor, whose athletic ability, even confidence. There is always that person with whom you are compared (only by yourself of course). That person who somehow defines something you are not.
I have a very vivid memory of my young girlhood. I was in Pre-K at Graland Country Day School in Denver. It was picture day. I was not that little girl who loved to wear dresses. I was a pants, play in the dirt girl all the way. On picture day, my mother dressed me up in a beautiful light blue dress with white collar and light blue initials down the front tie looking thing. She tied my hair half up with a red ribbon.
At first I hated it. YUCK! A dress! But then I realized that just because I was wearing a dress did not mean that I couldn’t play in the sandbox the way I always had, and dove in to get just as dirty as I would have, had I been wearing pants.
In fact, the dress was even better because I stood up and the sand fell out instead of in. And, somewhere inside, I secretly enjoyed all of the compliments I received about how pretty I looked that day. It never seemed to happen when I was wearing pants.
Pretty somehow goes with skirts and dresses. Which takes me back to Nicole DeBoom and Skirt Sports. She got the formula right! Without even knowing it consciously- she got it right. Give a girl who prefers to get dirty a skirt- and BOOM- it’s a winning combination.
We get to have all of the fun without losing our perceived femininity. We get to train for our athletics and see glimpses of ourselves in windows looking “pretty”. We get to play hard, rough and dirty; we get to sweat and get stinky all while wearing a SKIRT!!!
My inner 5 year old is shouting from the sandbox high-fiving all the way.
(This is a completely unsolicited article about Skirt Sports. I was so inspired by what Nicole DeBoom has accomplished I felt compelled to write about it. But- for your sake, check it out at http://www.skirtsports.com)
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