Power Up for Girls on the Run

When a girl runs, she lives in the moment.

She’s no longer small, big, slow, fast, shy, loud, rule-breaker or rule-follower. The layers peel away with every step she takes until all that remains is strength. Utter confidence in her abilities and, by extension, herself. Through running, she discovers her power.

[pullquote]At Girls on the Run, the finish line is just the beginning.[/pullquote]To show how this power manifests through Girls on the Run, we collaborated with Kate T. Parker, the talented photographer behind Strong is the New Pretty, to create a series of images that capture the pivotal moments.

Confidence. Connection. Empowerment. Joy. And so much more.

Let the images in this slideshow inspire you to take action. When you POWER UP for Girls on the Run, you’re powering up the next generation of girls. And in the process, creating an unbreakable bond between girl and woman.

Head to GirlsOnTheRun.org and sign up to be a coach. Volunteer. Give. And help us spread the word.

Let’s join forces to #PowerUpGOTR.

All Photos © Kate T. Parker

Heidi Wolne

August 07, 2014 at 6:44 pm

I am really disappointed in this last catalog for showing only the skinniest women possible. I have that build naturally but my daughter does not. There isn’t a cut tricep or calf in the bunch. I have a 13year old daughter who has always enjoyed your catalogs and we have bought your clothing (along with Ibex & Patagonia) because it fit her build and looked good. She is an accomplished athlete with Swimming, Martial Arts, Track, Tennis, and Climbing (don’t even begin to talk about the forearms in your catalog). Your models do not look like the strong, capable, beautiful women our daughters are becoming and nothing is going to fit right anymore. Please remember your roots and go back to making clothes for people with athletic curves! This is not about empowerment when your models look more suited to the runway than playing in the outdoors. You are loosing your original market and we miss your style. Thank you!

Cynthia Bristol-Kerr

August 11, 2014 at 4:05 am

Not only to I agree with Heidi Woyne’s comments on your models and role models for young girls, what has happened all the clothes I love for older women. Yes, I am 63, work out regularly and love my old Athleta longer tops and capris.. Also, have some great longer shorts. Please don’t fall into only having clothes for skinny 20 year olds like Lulumon. My granddaughter is an athete and needs to see healthy, cut, strong role models.

Nancy Aulenbach

August 11, 2014 at 4:07 am

I absolutely agree with Heidi Wolne when she posted that she was very disappointed in the drastic change in the clothing styles and the models at Athleta. My daughter and I are very athletic, and we have tone bodies with very large shoulder, pectoral, and bicep muscles, as well as muscular calves and thighs. I used to love Athleta because the clothes actually FIT! Now, I cannot find anything in the stores that will go over my arms and calves. PLEASE take some tips from Title 9 and make your clothing to fit over muscles! Right now I’m holding a $100 gift card for Athleta that I can’t use. . .

Julie Giblin

August 11, 2014 at 5:00 am

Ditto to all these comments. And I would add – that it seems there is a lot more skin displayed in your catalogs as well. I’ve gotten after the Victoria Secret company for sending me their way-too-skimpily-clad models. I’m considering discontinuing your catalog for the sake of the men/boys living in my household. What happened to dressing comfortably & cute without baring every body part to the world around us?

Lisa Brown

August 11, 2014 at 5:46 am

I think it’s great that a big company like Athleta is giving back and teaming up with Girls on the Run. Kudos to you!


August 11, 2014 at 6:00 am

The “Girls on the Run” pictures are great. They show a variety of body types for young girls. I wish that when I was a young girl, I had had access to mentors who would have encouraged me to pursue some sports skills. I’ve had to bumble along and learn on my own. If Athleta can get that same variety shown in “Girls on the Run” back into its clothes, and show it in the models in their catalogs, the company would promote women’s health and strength.


August 11, 2014 at 6:08 am

Girls on the run is an inspiring, supportive promo, thanks for going deeper. I agree wholeheartedly with previous comments. Please return to more generous cuts; I can hardly relate to the pre-teen looking bodies and fit. Real women with a desire to stay fit and be fashionable in athletic clothing need more appropriate designs and realistic fit. Your pipe-thin models are discouraging many… Thank you.


August 11, 2014 at 7:40 am

I think the comments so far are right on. Athleta sponsors some great programs, Espirit de She, Girls on the Run. The clothes however are not the same. I use to get swimsuits there but they don’t sell the same bottoms anymore. I have the old running shorts and they sell nothing like them now. Now the shorts don’t cover your ass. And I am a size 6. I had this conversation with the employees a couple times. The employees agreed that the shorts were way to short now. Please stay true to yourselves.


August 11, 2014 at 8:01 am

I have to agree with the previous comments as well about the new Fall 2014 catalog and the models. It was so noticeable how skinny a couple of them were that I pointed it out to my husband. I have never noticed models looking that thin in past Athleta catalogs. I agree that women are beautiful no matter what their size (naturally thin or naturally curvy) but I have always loved how Athleta celebrated the muscles women have as opposed to just being very thin (like Victoria’s Secret). I love your brand and clothes so please consider what your customers are saying as I’d hate to see your brand take a different route. Thank you for you listening 🙂


August 11, 2014 at 9:00 am

I have to say “ditto” to the comments about the models and the cuts. Please bring back more “full tide” swim bottoms!

Melody Ziegler

August 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm

I agree with the rest of the ladies, but I also want to add that just several years ago I started running and in my hunt for cute running and workout clothes (and yes, apparel that fit) I found Athleta. I liked that I could relate to most of your models and I loved that your clothes looked great on me and were age appropriate. But, at the same time, you had things for younger women as well. I used to have a hard time deciding what to buy, because I would have way too many items in my cart. I can’t tell you the last time I purchased something. I hope that somebody with Athleta that has the power to make changes has the opportunity to read our posts. On a side note, I think it’s wonderful that Athleta has teamed up with Girls On the Run!

Team Athleta

August 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Thanks for all the thoughtful, heartfelt comments. We appreciate the huge support our community has given Girls on the Run.

Please be assured that all of your feedback has been seen by our team and we greatly value your opinions. We pride ourselves on celebrating and showcasing strong women (and girls) through our marketing and product offerings. We’re committed to all our customers – from the woman dedicated to everyday fitness and health to professional trainers and competitive athletes.

We’ll continue to listen, learn and grow with our community while striving to elevate strong, powerful women.


Darla Gilland

August 11, 2014 at 6:14 pm

I love your catalog and have always respected and admired the athletic builds the women in your catalog have. Pleeaase don’t become another Victoria’s Secret!!! No one wants to see skeletons. Skinny women aren’t athletic.

Kathy Lane

August 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

I LOVE that you support Girls on the Run as my granddaughter is growing in self confidence through this program! But, I agree that to carry a line for the older active woman would be awesome! I do not run any more at 61. But, I walk HARD and want to look good. But, where are the shorts/capris/pants that cover most of the belly along with the longer shirts that cover the derriere that, even though solid, is just too old to be sharing with John Q Public?? Please encourage us at the other end of the age spectrum :~ )


August 13, 2014 at 8:27 am

Growing up I was a strong athlete. I played in state tournaments and collection many trophies for being on top teams. I LOVED sports and I continue to love sports. The hardest part for me was being called a lesbian even though I wasn’t (side note, I am not against lesbians, I have many lesbian friends and I played sports with them). I never liked or appreciated the fact that I could be a girl, and like guys and be a tough athlete and somehow that made me a lesbian. I love this campaign because you can be a girl, and be tough and that is where it stays regardless of sexual preference.


August 13, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Excellent comments. I won’t be buying anything. Get it together, Athleta.


August 14, 2014 at 6:10 am

I would like to see a mix of body types in the catalogs. I agree we have to be aware of anorexic or too thin models, but we can’t ignore the fact that plenty of women are naturally thin. It’s unfair to assume a thin model isn’t fit if she doesn’t have hulking muscles. I think it’s easy to remedy this issue by featuring a variety of models, with new faces from catalog to catalog. I’d be pleased to see women who have unique jobs or are great role models I’m not aware of; in other words, help me learn something new in each catalog.

Plenty of women enjoy working out but it may not be a daily experience, and that’s ok. The models don’t need to be perfectly fit for me to have a pleasant experience in the Athleta community. I like shopping at Athleta because it makes me feel empowered and most of the clothes are durable and a good value. It’s my favorite store and any body type can shop there.

I do wish there were more modest choices for times when I don’t want to show my rear (not because it’s too large but because I feel like being classy!). Again, variety will increase my desire to spend $$$ at Athleta.


August 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm

I agree with the previous comments. I would love to see women of all shapes and sizes in the catalog. The models seem to be getting skinnier and skinnier. I love Athleta and would love to see the beautiful average mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend in the catalog.


August 15, 2014 at 1:37 am

I am 57 and a petite athlete, 105# and 5’1″ tall/short-not a young slim model. I love your clothing and have a busy pre-retirement life and want to live in your clothes-but I agree with many of the comments above. I really want to wear your casual pants and skirts to work but they are either too low cut or long. Long can be fixed but not the low cut. All the bathing suits except a one piece I bought are very small like at Tommy Bahama. Tall skinny teens are not the only ones who love your clothes -working women do! I challenge you Athleta-bring me in and make some jackets, tops and pants that fit!


August 15, 2014 at 8:15 am

I too love that you are teaming up with Girls on the Run. I am in the midst of organizing a Conference next year for 11-14 year olds and a focus will be on how wonderful it is to be and look strong and toned (amongst other things). My concern lately has been the media pressure on young girls to look skinny and was hoping sports companies at the very least would promote all healthy shapes and sizes. Someone needs to start this movement and if it were you as a Company you would find you get major support from those people out there wishing to do the same. As they say…the ripple effect..it’s gotta start somewhere. Be the company to finally help girls with body image. To do something good in one aspect but to turn around and use the typical body type as cat walks do…we are still telling girls that it boils down to being tiny. They believe what they see…and if it’s all about tiny bodies clad in tiny clothes…we ain’t winning this battle.

Judy W

August 16, 2014 at 12:02 am

Sorry, I must call BS on the response from Team Athleta. They aren’t listening to the comments and the models, clothes, and company have really changed. It started when it was bought out by the big corporate giant who now calls the shots. My daughter worked at one of the first retail stores just after the buy-out and saw the emphasis change from meeting needs and customer service to sales quotas and pushing upsells. As a lifelong skier she tried to educate corporate on the craziness of offering a “ski pant” that didn’t have an inside cuff to keep the snow out. She was severely reprimanded for questioning the hoity-toity designers. I am a larger athlete and used to love the fit of Athleta XLs; I’ve lost a lot of weight and the offerings now don’t fit at all! So while they give a lot of lip service and support to some good causes like Girls on the Run, it’s a corporate machine like everything else nowadays. Unsubscribing and will not purchase from them again.


August 16, 2014 at 9:24 am

These Girls on the Run images are so powerful! Despite the above comments I think it speaks volumes of your company that you support such an amazing non profit like Girls on the Run which is all about joy, optimism and healthy body image. Thank you for being such a player in so many communities with Girls on the Run programs!

Elizabeth hilliard

August 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm

I am proud and honored to work for a company that strives to empower me. They go out of their way to insprie us to be healthy and strong. Both mentally and phisically. Behind every photo, new collection, catalogue and store is hard working humans and they are beautiful humans inside and out. Thank you so much for giving us the gift of these amazing photos with such powerful messages!


August 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Agreed with all the previous comments! Where’s the good quality clothing for every woman, all shapes! Athleta, please make a sports bra lined sleeveless top vs. tank top style! I am a runner, I live in sunny CA and my upper chest area has a permant tan! Not pretty as we age and start to freckle and have a leather chest! I want to run in a nice top that covers my entire chest, just over the collar bone area, I am reaching out to Lulu and Zella(Nordstrom) as well! Fingers crossed you listen 🙂 that we keep me a happy customer! Fondly

Team Athleta

August 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm

We hear you and are very appreciative that you took the time to share your thoughts.

Check out some of our current customer and employee full coverage favorites. Our Chi series, Shanti Series, Cardiff Top and French Terry Sharkbite Top all offer longer length and back coverage. For bottoms, we have a couple of new high-waisted styles that customers have raved about. The new Metro High Waisted Legging is a great new fit for walking / hiking or all-day outfitting and the Straight Up Fit works well for yoga, barre and Pilates. These join other favorites like the Acceleration 2-in-1 Capri for running/walking, the Chaturanga Jammer for yoga and the Sweet Sport Skort for golf, tennis or everyday use.

Our product teams spend time in our stores talking with sales associates and customers to get feedback on how we can continue to improve our assortments. Your feedback is very helpful to us. We have adjusted our swim and shorts assortment for future seasons to make sure we have the right balance of coverage.

We value your comments and thank you for the open dialogue. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to serve your needs.



August 20, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Thank you for participating in Girls on the run! I have been a long time athleta buyer and ita true you’ve changed your target audience! I’m 54 a long time runner,hiker skier. Please include all shapes and size of athletes not just the thin ones in your catalogues. Baby boomers are still strong and healthy!


August 22, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Thank you Athleta for a strong pro-girl message as well as some awesome workout gear. I totally agree with many of the comments from the wonderful older women above. At 23, as a long time jogger, I don’t look like any of the women in your catalog or website, and am disappointed with so many offerings that seem geared towards very thin women. Athleticism means muscle, and muscle has some bulk. Please stay true to your message and help all your girls reach their potential with great clothes and great role models.

Amanda Hamilton

August 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Thank you Athleta for teaming up and supporting Girls on the Run. I started running to as a way to calm my mind when my aunt was dying of cancer. I would go run because I couldn’t cry if I was running. Running saved me and I wanted to shard my love of running so I started coaching Girls on the Run at my school. I have been involved going on my sixth season now. It has been awesome to watch the girls transform during the season. Thank you for your support for Girls on the Run.


August 23, 2014 at 8:25 pm

I agree with the comments about the changing business model at Athleta and the focus being too LuluLemon-like. I want stylish athletic gear as opposed to pants I can wear after yoga or dresses with headlines far too short for comfort.

Equally disappointing is the direction of Athleta Chi, though. It’s sad to see the dozens of truly inspiring athletes replaced by bloggers inclined toward posts peppered with product placement.


August 26, 2014 at 3:08 pm

It’s very disappointing to see so many posts bashing women and girls who are thin. Females come in all shapes and sizes and thin or “skinny” girls and women can be just as athletic as the “bigger” ones. Bulk does not equal strength – I am a physical therapist so I know what I am talking about. I also happen to be thin – as a cross-country runner since my early teens and now as a marathoner in my 40s – let’s celebrate women of all sizes being active and quit bashing those who exercise, eat right and happen to have a slim build! Thank you Athleta for sponsoring Girls on the Run – all of my neices have participated and I look forward to the day my daughter can join in on the fun as well! Thank you!


August 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm

I haven’t seen any posts that bash thin gals! I’m tall and thin, and agree with the posts who want to see the clothes modeled by a variety of body types. I don’t care to see the models who wow many men, or those who must wow many high fashion designers- our society is saturated with those two “ideals”. I am especially saddened seeing a model who several years ago struck me as a gorgeous athlete and who now looks anorexic. Show us strong, healthy women, young and not.


August 28, 2014 at 9:01 am

Athleta thank you! Maybe it’s my imagination, but your recent advertisements seemed to showcase more strong, beautiful athletes! Your willingness to listen to all your girls thoughts about role models really means a lot to me, and I’m sure to others. Through your thoughtfulness and support of athletic programs, I hope more girls learn the joy of a good run, a nice swim, or any fun workout.


September 03, 2014 at 7:44 pm

I feel a kindred spirit upon reading the many comments regarding the lack of “real” athletic bodies in your catalogs. There is also a major void of representing women of color in your ads. As groups, such as Black Girls Run, gain popularity across the country, companies such as Athleta should be encouraging future clients by using models that represent the VARIETY of girls participating in programs like GOTR.

Jennifer Howard-Brown

September 05, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Hi. I LOVE this campaign. I’m a GOTR board member in Austin, TX. Are these images orderable as prints or posters? I have pinned them, but not sure they are high res. enough to print at poster size.

Team Athleta

September 05, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Hi Jennifer. Thanks for your interest. We’re not offering posters or prints at this time, but think it’s a great idea. Please encourage your local council to also express their interest to Girls on the Run headquarters.

Thanks so much for all you do to support GOTR!

Cheers, Michelle


September 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I’m in love with the first line and paragraph of this post – that’s exactly how I feel when I run and really want to share that with other young women! Would Athleta consider partnering with GOTR to develop a line of clothing with the GOTR logo and/or the captions on these images? I think that would be very well-received! I love my stylish and functional Athleta clothing as well as GOTR so that would be the perfect pairing!


September 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I was excited to get your catalog today, and as I was thumbing through I noticed something was missing!! The athletes!!! It now looks more like a VS catalog. I don’t shop there because I am a 5’4″ 128lb female with a very athletic build! I do triathlons and appreciate a body that is nutritionally solid and physically fit!!! I thought you “got it!!!” Please tell me you have not changed what Athleta is all about. I’ve always been so proud of this company for its beautiful athletic models. Please, please don’t sell out to the fashion and model world. We are real women wanting great clothes for fitness and leisure.

Karen Lilla

October 03, 2014 at 11:52 am

Thank you for the “Girls on the Run” campaign. I don’t know how my daughter got her hands on it, but she has the “Bullies aren’t tough. I am.” postcard taped to her bedroom door. Well done, Athleta!


November 22, 2014 at 7:41 am

I also am disappointed with the clothing Athleta has been putting out. Where is the color and the form fitting tops? I looked through the newest catalog today and couldn’t find one item I want to buy. I’m sure their sales numbers are down. All the tops are so weird and all the bottoms are crazy printed tights. I know the young athletic girls love these but keep in mind that most can’t afford them. And also us in our 30s to 50s that are fit need more tasteful athletic wear. Time to reconsider your strategy Athleta.


March 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm

My friend and I loved athleta and then suddenly they dropped their line of clothing, slacks, nicely fitted tops and sweaters, skirts, tights everything. It’s all gone. We spent thousands in their stores over maybe 2 years and suddenly it’s all gone. It’s nothing but boring gear we can find anywhere. The new store they opened in alexandria, VA is pathetically unoriginal. We no longer shop athleta at all. Such a shame. And I read the comment about the ski pants. Totally agree. Good thing I bought 2 pair before this company wholly tanked.


March 19, 2015 at 4:14 pm

I’m noticing a trend here. A lot of fit women over 35 no longer spend money at athleta — and we are the ones with the money! This store has lost its originality and a fantastic niche of sporty women who enjoy being trendy, too. It’s really disappointing.


April 26, 2015 at 9:26 am

I too echo the sentiment that is pervasive in these comments – what happened to all of the cute clothes?! Don’t even get me started on the non-athletic looking models now featured in your catalog. I have several pairs of dipper pants, probably one of your better selling items, and you discontinued it, along with practically anything else that was unique within your store. I don’t even bother to look at your catalog anymore, because your clothing no longer interests me. Try going back to the styles you had in 2013, and you may just get the 30+ year old customer base back. if you want to find me, I’ll be shopping over at Title Nine.

Lori Bushey

May 30, 2015 at 4:22 pm

I like Athleta styles and I have two pair of Chataranga Capri yoga pants size small. I am a yoga teacher, former college athlete at 5’4″ I am fi, not skinny or fat, but I have to say I don’t care to peruse Athleta’s catalog. It is frustrating to see only 20 something, tall, long legged, long limbed models. Most of my students are baby boomers and desire cute, comfy workout clothes. Including older models would only enhance Athleta and their audience of consumers. Frankly, I am sick and tired of supporting companies and brands that promote the “perfect” body image, thus truly distorting reality for younger women. As a mature woman, I get it, it’s all about money. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a plethora of models from all walks of life? Yoga, for one, isn’t about perfection. I would rejoice with a brand that actually embraced athletic women of all ages and sizes as “fit” instead of one size fits all mentality. Think about including models of all ages, wow, you would break barriers Athleta! I’m just sayin’ 🙂

Team Athleta

June 01, 2015 at 10:01 am

Hi Lori, thank you for your honest feedback. We are very proud of our model athletes, all of whom are incredible athletes in their own sports. We have started to profile these inspirational ladies in our FitMinute series. We will pass along your feedback to our catalog team, and we think you will love our upcoming fall catalog, which includes a diverse range of ages.

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