Represented Images of the Road Running Female

在文檔中 女生跑起來! 企業、媒體與路跑中的女性 - 政大學術集成 (頁 58-64)

4.1 Female Runner’s Self-Empowerment in the Media

4.1.1 Represented Images of the Road Running Female

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4.1.1 Represented images of the road running female

The clear distinction between female road running books and general road running

books is color. All three female road running books use color printing, compared to

general road running books, of which only one uses color, resulting in a strong visual

difference. On the other hand, road running magazines addressing women’s topics and

general road running magazines both use color printing, such that there is no significant

difference in color between the two.

As a result of color printing, regardless of the clothes worn, the complexion, or the

facial expression, women in the female road running publications look fresher and more

vivid than those in general road running publications. This is certainly the case given

the sweet smile worn by the female runner and her fashionable running equipment; the

reader cannot help but note her appearance. By contrast, females in general road

running magazines rarely pose individually, and are often included in a group of people.

Figure 2 and Figure 3 are examples of these differences. While women running on a

road are featured in both images, the proportion of the photo taken up by female runners

in Figure 2 is smaller than the space taken up by Gin Oy in Figure 3. Furthermore, the

front of the faces of the women in Figure 2 is not shown, only their sides. With black

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and white printing, they look plain. In contrast, Gin Oy’s face is clearly visible in Figure

3. As a result of color printing, she is given a red complexion and the vague background behind her emphasizes her presence.

As for the presentation of content, general road running books often use words

with diverse kinds of tables to present VDOT value, pacesetting and so on (see Figure

4). They also tend to include complicated physics formulas, complete training

schedules to illustrate road running techniques, and rarely use graphics. If graphics are

utilized, they tend to be dedicated to breaking down the action of running into segments,

or demonstrating weight training. Most general road running magazines also present

their content mainly in the form of words. However, the ratio of female road running

Figure 2. Female runners in general road running book Figure 3. Female runner in female road running book

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publications presenting content through the use of graphics is much higher (see Figure

5). Graphics are devoted to presenting multiple forms of content, including scenery

pictures, recipes, running routes, matching sports clothing, running equipment, and so

on. Many kinds of visualized content makes women look vivid in female road running

publications. By contrast, females pictured in general road running publications do not

seem to carry their own personality, but instead appear doing stretching, or in

action-break downs, almost looking like well-trained robots that are dim and dark.

Figure 4. Graphics in general road running book Figure 5.Graphic in female road running book

When it comes to content itself, female road running books like Run! Girls Run,

and Girls Run! both go to great lengths to describe the ways in which the authors’ lives

have changed radically because of running. The constant emphasis is that running can

help women to experience a whole new life, not just in terms of their body but also their

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soul. In short, female road running books appear to read more as inspirational books.

Gin Oy, the author of Run! Girls Run, is the best example of this. The first half of the

book devotes two chapters to describing her experience, family background, and the

turning point in her life when she started training to run a marathon. She writes about

her experience of school bullying, severe depression, suffering from over-eating, and

later anorexia. She explains that her experiences might have meant she would have

nothing to do with marathons or running. Today, of course, she is the most prominent

Taiwanese female runner.

I had a lonely childhood during which I was bullied. For six years, I suffered from

severe depression. Some once believed that I would never recover by myself, but I made it! I wanted to finish a goal that I could never achieve. Yes! I wanted to run a marathon. Only once I had tried it did I know that it was my life direction, and that it was enough to prove I was getting stronger and stronger. From now on, no matter what obstacles I went through, I had confidence in myself that I would never go back to the darkness I had suffered before.

(Excerpted from Run! Girls Run p.99) From the above excerpt, it is clear that Gin Oy’s mental state changed dramatically

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as a result of running; she went from a six year long severe depression to having faith

in herself. This content is private, emotional, and features personal statements. In other

words, the book aims to enlighten the public on road running and inspire a love of road

running through Gin Oy’s success. Road running magazines that address women’s

topics similarly often report the experiences of ordinary female runners and female

artists’ in becoming a runner. Among the issues, the cover figure of a Taiwanese singer

called Selina on the 2015 Running Life special issue is most prominent. Selina, as a

member of the Taiwanese girl group S.H.E, suffered third degree burns during an indoor

film shooting. This accident seriously affected her running action, but she did not give

up. In the magazine, she writes about her determination after finishing the Nike 10K

female marathon. Beyond the brightness of the images of female runners, these kinds

of inspirational and enthusiastic sentences often appear in female road running

publications, seeming to imply that any woman who starts running can become “better”,

and acquire self-empowerment.

This is unlike general road running books, which attempt to be rational, and do not

mention many personal experiences or feelings. Instead, they prefer lengthy articles on

how to “get stronger” by following strict running plans and regular weight training. As

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a result, the content can be difficult to understand at first sight. For instance, information

such as maximum oxygen consumption, mechanics formulas, and E,M,T,I,R training

levels, all depend on numbers, data and formula, making the page appear like a dull

textbook. Below is an excerpt from Daniel’s Running Formula, 3rd Edition which

explains one of the training levels, as well as threshold pacesetting (T). A “dull textbook”

style is evident; one short paragraph includes four pieces of numerical data (86%, 88%,

89%, 92%), and several unusual professional nouns, such as threshold pacesetting (T)

and maximum oxygen consumption.

For a well-trained athlete, the physical definition of threshold pacesetting (T) is 86% to 88% of maximum oxygen consumption, or 89% to 92% of maximum heart rate. However, for less well-trained runners, it is slightly higher than

approximately 80% of maximum oxygen consumption.

(Excerpted from Daniel’s Running Formula, 3rd Edition p.60)

Though general road running magazines also share runner’s stories, they tend to

focus more on road running information, such as the location of road running routes in

Taiwan, well-known marathons, and sports medical knowledge. The 2015 Runnnn Vol.6

systematically introduces 48 road running clubs in Taiwan, in this way resembling a


In brief, images of women in general road running books are duller and darker

than in female road running publications, no matter whether in terms of color or

presented form. Although general road running magazines are printed in color, female

images are not apparent, and the dictionary-like style is similar to general road running

books. By contrast, women in female road running publications appear to shine from

head to toe, and are presented in a way that is more vivid (see Table 7).

Table 7: Represented female runner’s image

Color Presented form Content style Female image General road running

Colored Graphics Motivational



在文檔中 女生跑起來! 企業、媒體與路跑中的女性 - 政大學術集成 (頁 58-64)