Inclusivity is still an issue in a number of industries — including beauty and fashion. But while the representation of different faces and bodies has increased on the runway and even more recently in beauty campaigns, there’s a still a vacuum when it comes to curvy women in the fitness and wellness realms.
In a string of recent Instagram posts, U.K. blogger Callie Thorpe announced that she would be working with the athletic brand to promote its plus-size collection. She wrote that she was excited to share her “journey with finding enjoyment in movement and exercise,” and hoped that it would encourage other plus-size women to embrace wellness as well.
Yesterday I spoke about the lack of inclusion of plus size bodies in the fashion industry. Well today I today I want to talk about the lack of representation in so called ‘wellness’ or ‘wellbeing’ movements. Bigger bodies are often ridiculed for being lazy and greedy and yet they are also bullied and mistreated when they do try to explore exercise. The truth is anyone that doesn’t have the perfect fitness proportions are completely ignored from any conversations about exercise or sport. Instead it is the same type of bodies on the covers of fitness magazines or amongst the hashtags on instagram. Well, times are changing and I’m proud and excited to say that I am partnering with @nikewomen long term to try out their plus size active and lifestyle collections which come in sizes 18-32 I’m going to share my journey with finding enjoyment in movement and exercise and I hope this will encourage other women no matter their size (if they want to) to enjoy movement and exercise also. Thank you Nike for being inclusive and understanding the need to include all bodies in your conversations #nikeplussize #nikeplus http://liketk.it/2uG7b #liketkit @liketoknow.it
A post shared by Callie Thorpe (@calliethorpe) on Feb 17, 2018 at 4:44am PST
After her announcement, Thorpe received many negative comments from people questioning her association with the fitness brand. Many crossed the boundary of fat-shaming, and it reached the point where Thorpe felt she needed to speak out.
Alongside a strong photo of herself standing between two boxing bags and sporting her Nike gear, Thorpe posted a statement that included some of the nasty words people shared with her, and an explanation of the hypocrisy of their comments.
I just saw some comments about my recent partnership with Nike which have made me so angry that I want to address it here ‘no one will want to buy sportswear from someone who looks like they never worked out a day in their life’ Just because you-over eat it doesn’t mean you deserve to be the face of an Exercise clothes lines.’ Did you know only ‘fit’ people deserve to be in fitness related campaigns? First of all how exactly do people get fit if they don’t have clothes to work out in? Secondly how can you tell someone’s strength or fitness level through a screen? When people who lecture others about weight and health claim to show concern, what they are really saying is ‘I’m not concerned about your health I’m concerned about your image. because that’s what it all comes down to how good you look. people with faux concern that bully others for being overweight are the same ones that mock people for being in the gym or participating in exercise. We truly are damned if we do and damned if you don’t. We have to suffer the lectures and comments about our weight whilst also not being afforded the access to fitness or health. And I’m just done with it. I’m so tired of people mistreating, mocking and laughing at people that look like me. I don’t care if YOU a judgmental, shallow person wouldn’t want to see my body in work out clothes. I am NOT HERE FOR YOU I’m here to show people who, look like me, what a body like ours, looks like in training kit. I do this so people can feel included in a conversation they are constantly excluded from. So they can feel comfortable to go to an exercise class, or for a run, or even a walk with items that fit, support and perform. So that it they choose to, they can move their bodies in a way that makes them feel good To those following me here, don’t let anyone exclude you or make you feel like you don’t belong because you don’t fit into these small minded stereotypes. You do what’s best for your body and your life. And to that commenter and anyone else with that attitude, do me a favour, keep your opinions to yourself and take your prejudices and go, some of us have got work to do ✋
A post shared by Callie Thorpe (@calliethorpe) on Mar 13, 2018 at 12:22pm PDT
“We truly are damned if we do and damned if you don’t,” Thorpe wrote in response to those who express “faux concern” toward people who are overweight, and then mock them for exercising. “We have to suffer the lectures and comments about our weight whilst also not being afforded the access to fitness or health. And I’m just done with it.”
From the lack of comfortable clothes that support and perform for plus-size people to the exclusive nature of institutions for wellness and exercise, Thorpe points fingers at the many reasons why people shamed for being overweight are not given the opportunity to move their bodies in ways that feels good to them.
Going into the ways that people have continued to mock and mistreat her because of her weight, Thorpe also shares with Yahoo Lifestyle a tweet that she found just following her post that illustrates what plus-size women go through at the gym.
She think she not gone stay fat. On the phone trying to use elliptical going 1mph goofy ass pic.twitter.com/COcmv39wjB
— Big Illinois (@Illmatic2) March 15, 2018
“The secret photos, the meme — it’s constant and unacceptable,” Thorpe says. “I’ve been on the receiving end of street abuse when actually walking to the gym with my husband. I’ve had personal trainers arrive late to my personal training sessions, and just seem to have significantly less interest in me than others in the gym.”
Now that Thorpe is putting herself out there in her efforts with Nike, the influencer is encouraging her supportive followers to not let the haters get in the way.
“To those following me here, don’t let anyone exclude you or make you feel like you don’t belong because you don’t fit into these small-minded stereotypes,” her Instagram caption concludes. “You do what’s best for your body and your life. And to that commenter and anyone else with that attitude, do me a favour, keep your opinions to yourself and take your prejudices and go, some of us have got work to do.”
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