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Runners invited to celebrate their bodies whatever their shape

UK News | Published:

A team of women will run the Vitality London 10,000 in their underwear to inspire others to be proud of their bodies.

Runners including Loose Women presenter Andrea McLean will run 10km (6.2 miles) in their underwear on May 27 to inspire others to be proud of what their bodies can do, whatever their shape.

The Celebrate You team – some just wearing underwear – will join other runners at the Vitality London 10,000 which starts on The Mall and finishes opposite Buckingham Palace.

Runners will pass famous landmarks including Nelson’s Column, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

2019 Vitality London 10,000
Andrea McLean will be among the Celebrate You runners (Vitality London 10,000/PA)

The team also includes plus size model and mental health campaigner Jada Sezer who completed the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon in underwear alongside her friend, journalist Bryony Gordon.

Jada Sezer is part of the Celebrate You team (Vitality London 10,000/PA)
Jada Sezer is part of the Celebrate You team (Vitality London 10,000/PA)

“You don’t have to run. You can walk, skip, hop. For someone starting that journey it’s a really good stepping stone,” she told the Press Association.

She said Celebrate You is about changing people’s perceptions about what healthy bodies can and should be like: “We just want to make a stand that fitness looks different on everyone.”

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Although tourists may be surprised to see women running in a sports bra and knickers during the bank holiday Monday race, Sezer said it is similar to what some elite female runners wear except “we have got a lot more body hanging out” and so it is considered “revealing”.

Sezer says women should celebrate their shape (Vitality London 10,000/PA)

“Why can’t we just see women’s shapes as functional and not sexualised?” she added.

Sezer, who has an MA in child psychology, was approached by modelling agencies after she posted photos of herself on Instagram to encourage young girls to celebrate their shape.

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She said exercise makes her calm, clears her head and energises her but she does not do it to try to lose weight and suggests that should not be anyone’s main reason for running.

“Why are you doing this? If losing weight is to fit in with what society thinks you should look like then who cares?”

Speaking to the Press Association during Mental Health Awareness Week, Sezer, who has worked with YoungMinds and The Prince’s Trust, said running helps her to feel “I have got this”.

Kong: Skull Island European Premiere – London
Jada Sezer at the Kong: Skull Island European premiere at Cineworld Leicester Square, London (Chris Ratcliffe/PA)

“With social media you can see a better range. People are braver. They are able to find their tribe with a hashtag.

“If you don’t see it, how do you know to be it?”

But she regularly takes a break from social media, goes on “unfollow sprees” or temporarily deletes apps to break the habit.

She suggests others limit the time they spend looking at other people’s perfect looking lives on “aspirational” apps like Instagram where “it seems like everyone is wealthy and happily married with clean, well behaved children”.

“Live a little bit more in the real world not the online world,” she advised.

– To sign up to run the Vitality London 10,000 on Monday May 27 go to www.vitalitylondon10000.co.uk/celebrateyou before 5pm on Friday May 17. You don’t have to run in your underwear.

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