What Happened When This Woman Was Boob Shamed While Running

July 15th 2016

Almie Rose

It should be a given that a woman jogging in public is not asking you to comment on her body.

female jogger

Unfortunately, Michelle Kirk from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was training for the New York City marathon by jogging in the park with her 18-month-old when she suddenly found herself having to defend her breasts to a total stranger.

A man was riding a bike when he rode in front of Kirk, blocking her route and forcing her to stop. Kirk told SELF exactly what he said:

"He was like, 'Hey, not for nothing, but you need a new sports bra. Your boobs are sagging.' And then he goes on to tell me that if I continue running, the muscle fibers in my breasts are going to break down and my boobs are going to sag even more, and they’re already heading south [and he doesn’t think] I want them to head south even more."

Obviously, Kirk was shocked, and wasn't sure how to respond. She wanted to "go 'all New York'" on him, but she was concerned about that outcome, as it was getting dark, and she and her daughter were alone.

Here's what she told him.

"I told him, 'I’m so sorry but all my non-boob sagging bras are in the wash today.' And I said, 'It was either this one or no bra.' He continued talking, and I don’t know what he was saying and I just tried getting out [sic] there as soon as possible."

Kirk then managed to get away physically unharmed, but furious. She wanted to turn back and confront him, but after calling her friend on the phone to tell her about the situation, her friend advised her not to. So Kirk tried to find another form of justice.

She blasted the man on Facebook.


"I will NEVER stop doing what I love," she writes, "and I love myself way to much to have your hate bring me down!"

Her post resonated with many other women.

Kirk shared her uncomfortable experience with social media and described why to SELF:

"My breasts are the one thing that I’ve always been insecure about my whole life. And I’ve finally come into my own and realized my self worth, and to hear that from a complete stranger who was clearly trying to bring me down—I knew [sharing my story] would help me and it would help other people because I didn’t want to be upset about it anymore. I just wanted to show the world that I was strong."

It's unacceptable for women to be body shamed or harassed while they work out.

Sexual harassment, is of course, unacceptable in any setting. Catcalling has always been an issue for women, unfortunately, and to comment on a woman's body (or clothing) while she's working out seems like a whole new low.


A photo posted by yams (@alltherunning) on

And this goes for anyone. Recently, a former Playboy model named Dani Mathers took a photo of a naked woman in a gym locker room to mock her on Snapchat. Almost instantly, Mathers was banned from every LA Fitness Gym and was suspended from her regular radio show job.

Sorry Not Sorry

It's also unfortunate that Kirk feared that confronting this man more directly would result in risking her personal safety. Perhaps that's why she subconsciously told the stranger, "I'm sorry" when she stood up for herself.

But just to be sure of what she meant exactly, we reached out to Kirk via Facebook to ask her why she said "I'm so sorry." Here's what Kirk told us:

"I said it sarcastically because the way he spoke to me was completely rude and he said 'not for nothing' like I was ruining his day because he saw me running. Now you got me thinking about it, I shouldn't have even included those words 'I'm sorry' because there was nothing to be sorry about, even though I wasn't sincerely apologizing. No one should ever have to apologize for the way they look."

Nailed it.