Too Much Pressure to Dress Sporty in Exeter?

Body image plays a major role in the way people perceive us, so it is no wonder that at the beginning of a New Year, many of us feel we want to make a fresh start, perhaps change our look, style or exercise more. Exeter is well known for its sporting reputation so it is no wonder that many girls take the New Year as an opportunity to get more involved with sports societies or work on their personal fitness. However, is the way we dress when participating in sport more likely to change our image than the sport itself?

One of the most noticeable things around campus is the abundant number of students wearing the acclaimed ‘green hoodie’. This is a popular item in many sports society’s stash; the society being boldly represented with an acronym printed on the hoodie. However, there is more to this coveted hoodie than its cotton and polyester blend. It is an embodiment of unity and equality within this exclusive society, unless you have captain printed on your back, and it provides a sense of belonging for the wearer. It symbolises the achievement of the participant, after completing grilling initiations and try outs; they are now part of this superior club and as a badge of honour they receive the right to wear a green hoodie. It is no wonder that some students ‘join just to get the hoodie’ along with the reputation that comes with it. This poses the question that when wearing the hoodie, do fellow students now admire and respect you more? Can a piece of clothing really change how you are perceived?

If it is not the green hoodie, there are still hundreds of students each day who walk around campus dressed in sports gear. Whether it is smart university stash, or gym-bunny attire, girls everywhere can be seen looking prepped to go on a run or play a match. There is no doubt that Exeter is renowned for its sporting reputation, but as a result of this do some students feel pressured to dress sporty just because they study here?

Without a doubt Exeter has a huge number of incredibly talented sporty students who rightly own their sports stash. But for those who don’t embrace the idea of sport quite as much, next time you walk around campus feeling a little despondent that you haven’t exercised as much as you should, just remember that not every gym-bunny or hoodie wearer has been to the gym today either. So, as the end of January looms and many of us wave a regretful goodbye to our failed New Year’s fitness resolutions, which on January 1st seemed so promising, take the cheeky alternative and dress like you are still sticking to them; no one will ever suspect as you walk proudly around campus in your gym kit.

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