Does my bum look big in these runners?

I have a big bum. It’s not one of those freaky ‘Kim Kardashian Out-Of-Proportion With The Rest Of My Body’ bums. No. Because my thighs are fairly chunky too.  But I am one of those girls who was delighted when J-Lo became Sexiest Woman Alive, and then Beyonce. Because somehow it validated my booty. It was bigger than I wanted, but that was ok, because big butts were the new black.


Over the last decade, the Ladies of the Big Bottom Brigade have been revelling in their additional centimetres, singing in perfect unison to the tune of “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.”

But to be honest, it had seemed to me that lately, bottoms of presence were becoming a dying trend. That over accentuated arses were losing appeal and that despite girls like Kim K, girls like Megan Fox were dominating  the ‘Sexiest Women’ lists meaning… big bums were not just out there, they were out!

So when I saw this ad for Nike, I won’t lie. I did a little happy dance. Maybe if you’re one of those wiry, slender little coat hanger types with a butt that resembles 2 perfectly formed little hamburger patties rather than 2 big Christmas hams…. Then this ad will do nothing for you.


In advertising terms, this ad is seriously good. Not just because girls like me go, “Oh, that’s cool… they’re not using a typical woman with a body like a marathon runner in their ads. She’s normal like me….”

The brilliance goes way beyond that.  Because often girls like me are a bit self conscious at the gym. We want to go but feel like we don’t really belong. We want to put on our runners and go for a brisk walk/jog/run/walk/jog/pant pant pant… walk, but we feel like we’re not fit enough, and it probably won’t do anything anyway, and what if someone is behind me and can see my but jiggle.

This ad makes me relate. And once I relate, I feel like I can be that girl. Exercise like that girl. And to be that Nike ad girl, I need the Nike shoes.

And butts aren’t the only thing… They’ve done versions for legs, knees, hips and shoulders that go as follows:

My legs
were once two hairy sticks
that weren’t very good at jump rope
but by the time I reached the age of algebra
they had come into their own
and now in spin class
they are revered
envied for their strength
Honoured for tier beauty
hairless for the most part
except that place the razor misses
just behind the ankles.
Just do it.

I have
thunder thighs
and that’s a compliment
because they are strong
and toned
and muscular
and though they are unwelcome
in the petite section
they are cheered on in marathons
fifty years from now
I’ll bounce a grandchild on my thunder thighs
and then I’ll go out for a run.
Just do it

(See I don’t know about you – if you’re a girl that is…. But the copy in that thunder thigh ad gives me goose bumps. It makes me so proud that when I go shopping for knee length boots I can’t find any that will actually zip up because my calves are so huge… Because if I’m honest, I know a lot of the bulk in my calves is strength. And as much as I will always crave legs like Jen A… It’s still all good.)

my knees
are tomboys
they get bruised and cut
every time I play soccer
I’m proud of them and
wear my dresses short
my mother worries
I will never marry
with knees like that
but I know
there’s someone out there
that will say to me
I love you
and I love your knees
I want the four of us
to grow old together.
Just do it


My shoulders
aren’t dainty
or proportional to my hips
some say they are like a man’s
I say leave men out of it
they are mine
I made them in 
a swimming pool
then I went to yoga
and made my arms.
Just do it


my hips
return to puberty
when I’m in dance class
music affects them like hormones
making them crazy
and spontaneous
and optimistic
and prone to drama
and I don’t understand them
and sometimes they
don’t understand themselves
when the music stops
they’re still charged
don’t touch me
sparks will fly.
Just do it

So I think they’ve covered pretty much every insecurity known to women and their body parts. And this is why the ads should work.

I wish more products aimed at women would be this good. Because most of us are realistic. Exercise won’t give you Jennifer Aniston’s legs if it’s not in your DNA. Nike aren’t trying to seduce us with false hopes and unrealistic expectations. (Wear our runners and look like this.) The ads appeal to us because we relate.

Now can the creative mind who designed these ads please go and speak to the people at Pantene Hair products. Because seriously… AS IF!



  1. Sian Bell · August 6, 2010

    Brilliant. Will just have to go out and buy a pair of Nikes now!

  2. Pingback: Learning to love the thighs | Miss Motivator
  3. Andrea Turner · April 29, 2011

    I was a swimmer in High school and was put down a lot about how broad my shoulders were and how big my thighs were. The ads “I have thunder thighs” and “My shoulders aren’t dainty” by Nike really helped boost my self esteem. I cut them from a magazine and taped them next to my full length mirror so I could remind myself there were other people like me.
    Media portrays beauty everywhere and women in particular mistake these images as the norm. Unfortunately the images set by the media are of an unrealistic ideal woman with a perfect 36-24-36 Barbie-shaped body. Whether its Baywatch babes filling their swimsuits to impossible extremes, or the unrelenting parade of beautiful slender movie stars gazing out from magazine covers and movie screens, the underlying message is that physical perfection is the only route to self-confidence and happiness. The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things and you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own. Most people aren’t strong enough to do that, so they are unhappy.
    Thanks for your post

  4. me83trace · October 31, 2012

    oh i cannot wait they come up with something for breasts …

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