This week Nike seems to have created quite the stir when it debuted a ‘plus sized’ mannequin at its London store. Overall reaction to the new ‘inclusive’ range of sportswear has been positive, but obviously less then favourable comments where not far behind. It seems ‘Journalist’ Tanya Gold too great offence to seeing a larger plastic body on display, claiming it “encouraged fat acceptance” which she believes leads to obesity and illnesses related to obesity.
“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,”Tanya Gold – Obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie
While I can sort of understand where her logic is coming from, I have to disagree. This is not about making obesity and being unhealthy acceptable, it is about allowing people the right to exist and to feel accepted and being treated like everyone else. It is a well known fact that finding well fitting gym clothes is difficult a chunky monkey like me, so I assume its the same for women too. After all the people who are in that store and buying that line are clearly already looking to make a lifestyle change. And that lifestyle change, to be successful, has to come from a place of self-love and acceptance. And that is where the body positivity movement comes in.
If anything this piece of marketing seems to have been a raging success the incident has clearly helped increase awareness of the company’s plus-size range. Since launching this campaign, searches for Nike’s plus size range have increased by nearly 400%.
So my overall opinion is to mind your business, attacking anything that will help get an already marginalised group of people feeling comfortable getting active has got to be a positive. And even on a more basic level then that, everyone deserves to be seen and treated fairly.