Surprise, Surprise, These Nike Mannequins Are Triggering The Internet

Dedicated to the art of movement, this month is all about the journey to body awareness, and what it really means to devote energy to wellness, exercise, and self-love in 2019.


It seemed like we were making steady strides. With the condemnation of brands like Victoria’s Secret and general body diversity across the fashion industry apparently on the rise, we’ve become happily accustomed to seeing ourselves represented on billboards, commercials, and in-store windows…but there always has to be someone that hauls us right back to the beginning.


In a remarkably irresponsible move, The Telegraph published an incendiary article bemoaning the decision by Nike to feature curvy mannequins. It was, of course, argued under the guise of ‘healthiness,’ which is a case we’ve heard many times before: Models over a size four promote “obesity,” while the employing clearly underweight women and their potential promotion of eating disorders goes intentionally unexplored. The logic is obviously fat-phobic and, perhaps most depressingly, the story was written by a woman.


“The new Nike mannequin is not size 12, which is healthy, or even 16a hefty weight, yes, but not one to kill a woman,” writes journalist Tanya Gold. “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. She cannot run. She is, more likely, pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement.”


While any outlet is well within its rights to publish a point-of-view, the intentionally inflammatory language and general ignorance of the piece is not worthy of an internationally-regarded outlet. More than that, it’s dangerous. And it didn’t take long for commenters to bite back. Self-proclaimed obese women shared their own exercise journeys in response to the article, with one rebutting to Gold’s statement that a plus-size woman “cannot run” with photo evidence of her participating in the London marathon.


Others pointed out the obvious hypocrisy in telling overweight women to exercise, but not affording them the ‘skinny privilege’ of wearing activewear to do so. Tony Mcvitie, alternatively, summarized Nike’s intentions perfectly: “They are telling women that are plus sized that there is sportswear for them if they wish to work out or if they just wish to wear [sports]wear and not work out. Very simple really Tanya.”


Soon after, The Telegraph published a counter-view, tweeting a pull quote that said “exercise isn’t only for thin people.”


Hope they benefited from the clicks.

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