An annual “Speedo Hike” has been canceled by the outdoors club of the Claremont Colleges — because it supposedly excludes people who look terrible in a Speedo.
The popular event, sponsored by the On The Loose club, had participants don Speedos and go for a hike. The Speedo was NOT mandatory, though — everyone was welcome to join and simply dress as they please.
That wasn’t enough for the “body positivity” crowd though, so the club nixed it:
By having the Speedo Hike as our official welcome event each year, we unintentionally sent the message that to participate in OTL, you must be fit and comfortable with your body image.
The name “Speedo” itself inherently implies bro-ness. OTL is so much more than just that, but many potentially interested students get turned off to our club each year because of Speedo Hike.
In an effort to make the club more inclusive and accessible to everyone, we didn’t want to advertise a trip that our staff felt like wasn’t representational of the full OTL mission and purpose.
So instead of letting the fitness of others motivate the pasty potatoes who decided to watch Netflix all summer rather than get moving — and instead of letting the unfit who still think the whole thing sounds fun make their own decisions — the entire event was cancelled.
As reported in the Claremont Independent, one of the club’s staffers said the publicity and legacy surrounding the Speedo hike is “immediately and inextricably ostracizing”:
Not to mention how it directly excludes individuals with religious dressing practices. No matter what work you do, the ‘speedo hike’ will manifest itself as OTL taking out and funding a group of students that is nearly guaranteed to be almost exclusively outdoor-experienced, fit, and heavily swayed in the direction of outdoor — and otherwise — privilege that OTL is trying to work against.
OTL’s decision to not put many folks’ organizational effort and time into an event that is widely associated with bodily shaming/exclusion just seems to make a lot of sense.
As some of the students have pointed out, participants in the hike didn’t have to wear a Speedo. If you don’t feel comfortable letting it all hang out, you could keep your shirt and shorts on. But that didn’t seem to factor into the decision to cancel the hike. All that mattered were the feelings of those who didn’t look as fit as the hot dudes in Speedos.
In a society that idolizes a perverted notion of equality, promotes a twisted sense of entitlement, and shuns hurt feelings in order to protect delicate egos, this is what you get. No freedom, no fun.