How My Jacket Convinced Women to Try Weight Lifting

My jacket was the first thing I bought when I moved to London. It had been my dream since I was little. When it arrived, I couldn’t wait to wear it out and about. After wearing it around town for a few days, though, something didn’t feel quite right…I started getting comments from other women on how ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘tight’ or even ‘disgusting’ the material felt against their skin! At first I thought they were just being polite, but then one day I noticed them staring at me too. They weren’t just making comments either; some of them were actually touching me inappropriately while talking to me!

What did I do wrong? Why did everyone think this fabric was so uncomfortable? Was there something inherently sexual about the way women looked at me?

The whole experience made me very self conscious about wearing the jacket all over again. Even now, I still get comments from other women whenever I’m out and about. One time I went shopping with my boyfriend and another girl came up to us both saying she thought we were ‘sexy’. She wasn’t just being complimentary either; she was actively trying to flirt with us! And that’s not even counting the guys who have tried to touch me inappropriately while talking to me! I don’t know what I did to invite these kinds of reactions, but it’s really been messing with my head.

I’m not sure if this is the ‘elite’ way all women in London behave, or if I’m just a special case. If you could give me some advice on dealing with this, I would really appreciate it.

-Confused in London

Dear Confused,

There are many things that could be causing this reaction, and without knowing exactly how you’re behaving or what you’re wearing, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is. One thing I can say for certain though is that fabric choice does not make people sexualize you. Perhaps you are engaging with these women in a way that invites their attention.

For example, maybe you’re making prolonged eye contact with them and not realizing it. This leads people to believe that you are interested in them when that may not be the case.

The other explanation is that people are just terrible. If I had to guess, I’d say this is probably the more likely scenario. Most women in this city are from all over the world and are dressed in a wide variety of styles.

What may be ‘inappropriate’ in one culture, is normal attire in another. The important thing to remember is that not everyone can be trusted. Especially other women. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and if someone puts their hand on you or behaves in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to push them away. Tell them you’re not interested and walk away if need be.

How My Jacket Convinced Women to Try Weight Lifting - at GYMFITWORKOUT


A week passed after the publishing of my letter before I received a reply. I was almost certain my answer wasn’t going to get printed, so it was no surprise when all week long no letter arrived. It was a Friday night and as usual, I found myself at the same tavern as last time.


Told you it’d get answered soon.” Hatter said, sliding a pint in front of me.

“I suppose, I’m just not sure if this person is writing about the same thing I am.” I replied, taking a sip of my drink.

Well that’s your problem, isn’t it?”

Hatter retorted.

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever helps you sleep at night.”

Hatter turned his back to me to help a customer and I looked around the tavern. It wasn’t particularly busy tonight, just your average collection of sailors, medical students and other working class people. I shifted in my seat, suddenly feeling like all eyes were on me.

Which, maybe they were. I quickly took another drink of my ale and tried to make myself as small as possible in my chair.

How My Jacket Convinced Women to Try Weight Lifting - at GYMFITWORKOUT

“Hey now, none of that.” Hatter said, suddenly standing beside me with another pint in his hand. “You’ll end up drinking the whole thing and you really shouldn’t have more than one on a Friday.

You know what day it is.”

I frowned. “It’s still five days until the full moon…can’t you make an exception?”

Hatter rolled his eyes. “Fine, this one’s on me. But don’t tell the other waitresses and don’t even think about driving home.

Sources & references used in this article:

The New Rules of Lifting: Six Basic Moves for Maximum Muscle by L Schuler, A Cosgrove – 2006 –

The discourse of empowerment: Foucault, Marcuse, and women’s fitness texts by TB Eskes, MC Duncan… – Journal of Sport and …, 1998 –

Firm but shapely, fit but sexy, strong but thin: The postmodern aerobicizing female bodies by P Markula – Sociology of sport journal, 1995 –

The New High Intensity Training: The Best Muscle-Building System You’ve Never Tried by E Darden – 2004 –

Stopping rape: Effective avoidance strategies by M Gates – 2019 – Macmillan Publishers Aus.

Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me and I Think It’s My Husband: The Modern Gothic by PB Bart, PH O’Brien – Signs: Journal of Women in Culture …, 1984 –

To try her fortune in London: Australian women, colonialism, and modernity by J Russ – Journal of Popular Culture, 1973 –

Women of steel: Female bodybuilders and the struggle for self-definition by L Luciano – 2002 – Macmillan