You’ve probably seen the photo of the Nike mannequin making the rounds on social media. Over the weekend Nike debuted a plus-sized mannequin in its flagship London store and the decision has been both celebrated and slammed.
— Dazed (@Dazed) June 6, 2019
In every body-positive corner of the internet it has been incredibly heart-warming to read stories about what the Nike mannequin meant for people to see someone of their size and shape represented in a mainstream sports store.
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I KNOW. Shock horror. It's a video of a size 14, 52-year-old at the gym exercising. Take that every negative, shameful, hurtful comment that has been doing the rounds of media and social media this week following the forward-thinking move of @nike to include a plus-size mannequin in its store displays. I can only imagine what the fat-shaming comments are doing to young girls and women. They're certainly far from motivating.⠀ ⠀ You know what is motivating? Seeing women of all shapes, sizes and ages exercising for health benefits that go far beyond weight loss. It's seeing activewear companies offer great-looking, comfortable products to suit sizes above a size 14. And it's being able to work out, go for a run and not be worried you'll be judged because you don't have a size 6-8, perfectly ripped body. For too long I let that kind of sh*&T stop me from exercising. ⠀ ⠀ I changed that mindset more than two years ago (thank you @body_smart for creating a welcoming space in which I don't feel judged). I don't weigh myself. If I used weight loss as a benchmark for exercise success, then I'd have given up long ago (I have Hashimotos – Google it, or search my blog for how frustratingly unfair this makes any weight loss efforts). I exercise to feel mentally well and I exercise to feel strong. And I suggest you do too.⠀ ⠀ I'm but one voice championing @nike and disgusted at the reaction this company has received. Take a look at posts by @jessheading @shellyhorton1 @drnikkistamp and @fionafalkiner for some great opinions and insights.⠀ ⠀ #hashimotos #healthyish #fitspiration #nike
But step outside the Body Positive safety net? Phooarrrr.
It’s been both amusing and painful to read scathing comments about this mannequin (who is in fact a similar size to me) … her very presence is apparently ‘disgusting’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘promoting death’.
And this isn’t just a small collection from nameless trolls. A journalist in the UK’s Telegraph wrote: ‘She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat … she is not readying herself for a run in her shiny Nike gear. She cannot run. She is, more likely, pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement.’
Say, what??? What amazing super-doctor powers this journalist has to predict all that from one factor: size.
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I wasn’t planning on posting about this tonight but I am so glad that the voices are getting louder to drown out @telegraph and the horrific article they shared about the new @nike mannequins. . As @anncornelius puts it this is HER body they’re criticising. Actually it’s not just hers. It’s so many women who don’t look like a VS angel. And those woman have a right to move their bodies for joy, for fun and without fearing shame or stigma. . The thing that is the WORST about Tanya Gold’s vomit-worthy, body shaming pile of drivel is that she feigns concern about health when her article directly detracts from that. Stigma and poor body image seriously limits how much someone will exercise. And no matter your body size, exercise is good for you. . I wrote about this in @guardian today so please have a gander, have a think and make sure it gets back to @telegraph and Tanya Gold. The link is in my stories. . For everyone out there who doesn’t look like a #fitspiration model, you don’t have to. We are on the cusp of a revolution and antiquated hateful opinions are on the way out. . #prettyunhealthy #wellnessjunkie #wellnesstribe #losehatenotweight #diettips #instafitness #healthylivingtips #healthybodyandmind #healthyish #healthbenefits #fitspiration #bodypositive #iweigh
Fatphobia remains alive and well: it is one of the last acceptable forms of discrimination. Personally, though, it’s left me more inspired than ever to keep advocating for a world where children retain their innate fascination and trust of their bodies all the way to adulthood.
To anyone triggered by that garbage opinion piece on the Nike mannequin, a gentle reminder: Concern trolls do not care about you or your health. They are almost always operating from a feeling of pain and betrayal.
— Leigh Bardugo (@LBardugo) June 12, 2019
Because when we respect our bodies, when we’re not taught to disassociate from or denigrate them, we naturally take care of them, in whatever unique, individual way that looks for us.
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at the start of the year i began running. it had been something i did obsessively during the worst parts of my eating disorder. up and down the street near my house; up and down the corridor when no one was home. on limited fuel and out of pure self punishment. i wanted to repair that relationship and find a way to run that was enjoyable instead of destructive. the hardest part of this process was not the physical pain of being unfit as hell and attempting to get into the routine of regular cardio, but the intense fear that others were judging me for running in a… well, a fat body. you see, you're told to exercise. but then when you do, you're told you're embarrassing & promoting obesity. tanya gold who called this nike mannequin "heaving with fat". because she seemingly considers anything above a size sixteen pre-diabetic and incapable of self-made fast forward motion. ironically, she is a size sixteen woman who also wrote an article about how fat people should be allowed to eat cake without judgement. but i guess her limitations of who is allowed to ingest baked goods ends at herself. honestly though, it's not even about that. who cares if someone is wearing leggings for exercise or not? certainly not the baby boomers in mount eliza who live for lululemon at all occasions. it's a body. in stretchy pants. it's not promoting anything except letting all people wear clothes & nike making money. fruit and vegetable consumption is thought to be a greater indicator of overall physical health than weight. i'm not saying that being in a bigger body can't lead to a greater risk of negative health outcomes – IT CAN! we know that. it's shoved into our faces constantly! but if you care about health: advocate for programs that provide children with good, healthy breakfasts. promote good form in weignt lifting at the gym. nag your friends who don't drink water. understand that being underweight is a significant risk factor for some health conditions. promote health literacy (something most of us suck at fat or thin!) if you care about health: let people wear a pair of fucking leggings without it being a big deal. because health is multifaceted. move on: just do it
Can you imagine how freaking awesome it would be to raise a generation of humans not burdened by constant thinking about what they look like?
With their brilliant minds occupied by thoughts about helping others and the planet, instead of how they wish they could fit into their skinny jeans or how ‘bad’ they’ve been with food this week?