Inside the Controversy Over Nike's New Mannequin - Page 2

Some argue the company is promoting an unhealthy lifestyle with plus size mannequin
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2019 5:30 PM CDT

  • More from Gold: The mannequin "is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat," the columnist writes. "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."
  • Uh, really? Gold's column did not go over well. Tegwen Tucker posted a side-by-side comparison of her own body next to the mannequin on Twitter, noting, "I look like that @nike mannequin, and I’ve done a 10k, a half, & a marathon this year. And there’s another 10k & a half coming up. If you think obese women can’t run you’ve clearly been living under a rock."
  • Who's the bully? Gold lamented the "fat acceptance movement" and accused Nike of "bullying" women by taking part in that. "'Advertising has always bullied women, but this is something more insidious,'" Twitter user Charity Blanchard quotes from the column—skeptically. "Pot calling the kettle black, b----," she concludes.
  • More backlash: There's so much more where that came from on Twitter, including a user who points out, "If someone is forced to feel uncomfortable in stores for fitness, there is no progression." And a body image researcher posted about studies showing that most female mannequins are actually frighteningly underweight, yet no one seems to be concerned about those mannequins promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.
  • Big names speak out too: Model and activist Jameela Jamil has been railing against critics on Instagram, including posting a meme reading, "It's just a woman in leggings you ignorant f----s." And model Iskra Lawrence, who has been open about her struggle with anorexia, said she's now closer to the size of the new mannequin than a traditional mannequin—and that's good. "News flash—I am more healthy NOW than I was when I was thinner—because being skinny does not equal being healthy."
  • A competing column: At the Guardian, Nikki Stamp writes, "There is no war on obesity; there is only a war on the people who inhabit bigger bodies." And the "concern trolls" waging that war are "actually making it harder for anyone who isn’t able-bodied, cis-gendered or thin to achieve health, in mind and body."
  • But some agree with Gold: It wasn't all support for Nike; Yahoo News quoted one Twitter user who was also criticizing Nike and insisting that "obesity lifestyle should be shamed, not encouraged." That account, however, has since been suspended. Another critic of Nike suggested the company "promote exercise" instead of "fatso clothes."
(More on Jamil's related activism here and here.)

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