Eventually the caffeine kicked in and it hit me: I’d been sweat-shamed. Sweat-shaming is when someone points out your sweatiness as a way to signal disapproval. Like its counterparts, slut-shaming and fat-shaming, sweat-shaming is aimed mainly at women, who are actually not supposed to sweat at all.
Horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow, as the saying goes.
I glow like a nuclear reactor. My body cools itself exactly as I need it to. After long, hard runs my fair, fine hair sometimes ends up dripping wet. I bring dry clothes to throw on afterward and try to forget about it.
Until somebody reminds me. Strong may be the new sexy and fit may be the new skinny but sweaty is as gross as ever. To “sweat like a pig” is to be fat, dirty, uncivilized. Nobody wants to fall into this category, so we attempt to conceal our perspiration – something I’d tried but failed to do at Starbucks.