A magazine feature by Cycling Weekly on the Hinckley Cycle Racing Club from Leicestershire was lambasted today after going to print with the caption ‘Token attractive woman’ on a photograph of a female club member.
In an exclusive scoop, female cyclist Penny Farthing spoke to the Rochdale Herald to give us her firsthand views on the caption written by a ‘rogue subeditor’ at the magazine.
“A friend tweeted me to tell me the magazine was out, and said I should have a close look at the picture. Now, ever since the photographer came round to the club I’ve been bricking it at the thought of my arse in Lycra being all over a national magazine, so to be honest when I saw the picture my first feeling was relief. Then I noticed the caption and I thought, ‘well that’s nice’.
“I mean, obviously it’s insulting to women everywhere and an offence to my existence as a human, but it’s not as bad as that time builders sang ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ at me as I cycled past.
“Like every woman, I’m constantly treading the impossible line between trying to look good and just for five minutes enjoying a real life activity that is actually quite nasty and sweaty.
“Being part of a cycling club is basically a cross between a 90’s Bodyform advert and the swimsuit round of a beauty pageant, all whilst wearing a pancake of immovable sweat-proof makeup and showing off hairless armpits covered in diamond vajazzle. It’s exhausting.
“I’m so consumed with what men think of me when I’m out trying to have a nice time on my bike that I was actually quite grateful not to be labelled ‘token ugly munter’ by the all-powerful men at Cycling Weekly.
“Meanwhile every man over forty seems to think the public would like nothing better than to see their balls strangled in Lycra tighter than two coats of paint while they trot round the pub in their cleats like they’re wearing kitten heels.
“To be honest, it’s my friend Jane that’s really been hurt by this. She was in the picture too and didn’t get labelled as attractive. Not being given a flippant and ultimately demeaning compliment by a chauvinist subeditor is probably the most cutting thing that’s ever happened to her.
“I spoke to her earlier today and she was just on her way round to the offices of Cycling Weekly, so the person in question had better hope he was sacked this morning or he’ll be really sorry.
“I’ll admit that Jane may not be much of a looker but I’ve seen her at kicking out time and she’s got a cracking right hook.”