“Here’s the problem…”
Remember last week when I wrote a blog about the misconception of what healthy and fit looks like? If you don’t, that’s okay – I don’t’ expect you to but feel free to check it out via the link above.
I didn’t time it on purpose, ahead of this week’s blog, but sometimes the world just hands me blog ideas that fuel each other. And I can’t help but pour on the gasoline.
Nike’s Plus-Size Mannequin
Nike recently debuted a plus-size mannequin in its London flagship store.
This seems long overdue but, that aside, it’s great. People come in all shapes and sizes, as should clothing, so it only seems natural marketing teams would want to display clothing in all such sizes to appeal to all such potential buyers.
Apparently there was backlash over this from a journalist who believes this mannequin is too big and too fat.
Apparently said journalist believes Nike is promoting “fat acceptance” (if that’s a thing?) with a mannequin and clothing designed for people who are larger than a size 12.
Apparently Nike trying to be inclusive and encourage exercise to people of all sizes is offensive…to, I’m not sure, thin people I guess?
I’d like to meet this reporter and have a few words with her.
The Appearance of Health Isn’t As Important as Being Healthy
First of all, you can be “plus size” and be healthy. Sure, there’s a line between having a few rolls without health problems and having a few too many extra, extra rolls where health problems likely. I’m not here to argue that morbidly obese is healthy – I mean, it has the word “morbid” in the name for a reason.
But I’ve seen plenty of people, maybe they were a size 10, a 12, maybe bigger, I’m not exactly sure (who cares), and they were running in a race. I presume they trained or worked out to some degree to get to that race, which means it’s likely they have healthy hearts, possibly low blood pressure, maybe their mood is high and stress level low – in short, they have health traits one can’t always see.
I see people of all sizes regularly doing cardio at the gym or lifting heavy weights, same deal there. And then there are professional athletes, many of which who have larger frames but are healthier and fitter than most of the world. Healthy and fit come in all shapes and sizes.
You can’t tell me that someone who regularly exercises, even if they might have a few extra pounds compared to you or me, isn’t healthy in numerous ways. There’s this funny little thing called genetics that greatly affects our size and trying to fight against those genetics by restricting food, all in the name of maintaining what society deems “healthy and fit” based only on appearance, is the opposite of healthy and fit.
Nike’s Responsibility to Health and Fitness
Second, this woman’s argument about Nike’s “fat acceptance” (again, don’t like that but gotta keep it real to what was said) also implies it’s somehow Nike’s responsibility to change people’s lifestyle choices and force them away from being “fat” to being “fit”…and by fit, I again mean society’s surface definition of fit aka thin, flat belly, minimal arm jiggle, you know what I’m saying.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want Nike or any other company deciding what size I need to be in order to fit into this “fit and healthy” box or how I should live my life in general. It is NOT Nike’s responsibility to make people change their lifestyle or their choice of how to maintain their bodies.
What is Nike’s responsibility? To have a profitable company that provides a quality product to the consumer. If more and more people are a size 12 or 16 or 20, and those are potential consumers for workout gear, it’s Nike’s responsibility to cater to the market and what it demands. That’s just good business.
While I say it’s not Nike’s responsibility to shape the idea of what’s healthy and fit, you could argue it is in their best interest to encourage people to work out. And, what do people – of every size – need in order to work out? Workout clothes!
Nike – And Inclusivity – Win
Nike has had bad press lately, with its conflicting messages of female empowerment and less-than-accommodating contracts with pregnant/postpartum female sponsored athletes. But I think they win the day with this move. One reporter’s opinion that a plus-size mannequin is wrong or controversial should mean nothing to Nike. Go, Nike. Inclusivity always wins.
What do you think of Nike’s move to showcase a plus-size mannequin? The comments are all yours so please leave one. Or, connect with me @LindsayIRL on Twitter.