RUNNING is for every body anytime.”
That’s the message plus-size model Erica Schenk wants to send to women after appearing on the cover of Women’s Running magazine.
The magazine asked the 18-year-old New Yorker to post in its August issue and initially her image was only going to run in an article about workout clothes for different body types.
But at the last minute, Women’s Running editor-in-chief Jessie Sebor decided to put her on the cover.
“There’s a stereotype that all runners are skinny, and that’s just not the case,” Sebor told the US Today Show.
“Runners come in all shapes and sizes. You can go to any race finish line, from a 5K to a marathon, and see that. It was important for us to celebrate that.
“I think that every woman goes to the magazine rack sometimes and feels like she can’t see herself in the cover images,” she added. “We wanted our readers to feel like they could see themselves in our cover.”
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Erica, who is signed to Wilhelmina Models, says she hopes to help women accept their bodies.
“I love how the image shows a thick-thighed woman who is proud of her body,” Erica told E! News.
“I’m not wearing loose-fitting clothes, to say the least. At first it made me a bit uncomfortable but then I had to realise I can’t help other women accept who they are without doing the same for myself.
“I’ve had so much positive feedback. I can feel the masses begging for more. They want to be able to relate to the struggles, success, and celebration of people just like them,” she said.
Erica has been a runner for 10 years and loves it because it helps to clear her head.
“Some women believe that since they have curves they can’t run or shouldn’t run,” Schenk said. “Running is for every body anytime.”
The cover photo on the Women’s Running Facebook page has 35,000 likes and been shared more than 5000 times.
“I am LOVING this cover!!! She represents every day ‘normal’ women! We are not perfect looking. WE look like her!!! This cover inspires me as I am sure it will inspire others. I’m going to run out and get it tomorrow,” one Facebook user wrote.
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Another said: “I applaud magazines encouraging all women to workout and push themselves. Some of us are a size 16 and some are a size 2 like me … It shouldn’t matter what size you are as long as you take care of yourself and work hard!”
Twitter users were also over the moon — one woman said she almost cried when she saw the cover.