Nike debuted a new plus-size mannequin at its flagship store in London last week and this big and bold move has received all sorts of publicity. While it’s obvious that it was done to promote inclusivity and diversity, the internet trolls have condemned it. People on social media claimed that the brand was ‘promoting obesity’ or pushing an ‘unhealthy’ message. The brand is known for making bold moves and damning all consequences so I’m not surprised they did this.
Tanya Gold, a writer for The Telegraph, a national British daily broadsheet newspaper, published an article condemning the mannequin. In her words, “The new Nike mannequin is not size 12, which is healthy, or even 16 – a hefty weight, yes, but not one to kill a woman. She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat. She is, in every measure, obese, and she is not readying herself for a run in her shiny Nike gear.” Her article attracted a lot of responses and it trended on Twitter. See some comments below.
The subject surrounding fatness, health and exercise is a topic that has been a cause of contention between non-fat people, physicians, the media and fat people. Despite every fat person being told that the people who abuse them are only doing so for their health, they receive just as much hostility when exercising. Fat people are laughed at when they’re exercising and it’s hard for them to fit in, in a society that weight loss and six packs is overly promoted.
I personally think this is a great move and it will encourage plus size people to work out. Most mannequins don’t have curves talkless of a big belly and thighs. We are so used to seeing mannequins that look like models instead of mannequins that look like actual people that are buying these clothes.
Working out in chic workout wear is a motivator in itself. I know because when I buy new gym wear, I’m excited to wear it when next I’m exercising. Now it’s up to us to urge them to get hundreds more and to put them up in stores around the world, and then make sure that there’s a regular size mannequin and a plus size mannequin whenever a customer walks by.
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