Gyms are known to do some pretty interesting things to avoid body shaming at all costs. For example, Blink covered mirrors to promote body positivity, and Planet Fitness has free pizza and bagels. But some gyms go the other way.
Pure Gym in Manchester, UK tried to grab the attention of prospective costumers by having an employee in a bright blue fat suit stand outside the store. The gym certainly got the attention it wanted, but not for the right reason.
Most people saw this promotion as straight up fat shaming.
The managers of the gym didn’t mean to make people feel self-conscious of their weight at all. but it’s probably hard not to feel self-conscious when you’re walking down the street and a man in a blue fat suit runs past you in a “race” to lose weight. No literally, by the time the man finished the “race,” his fat suit was deflated. Not a very subtle message.
One of the passersbysaid,
I would not normally be offended by it because I’m a big guy and I’m comfortable with my body but not everybody is. I wouldn’t want some poor kid seeing it and making comparisons with themselves… People should be proud of their bodies no matter what shape or size they are.
This stunt is basically just as bad as those bikini body ads that got taken down for pretty much sending the same message: that your body needs to change to fit unrealistic standards.
I guess for Pure Gym, this is just one way to get noticed, but potential gym goers shouldn’t be guilted into signing up for a membership. They should sign up because theywant to work out.
If I saw that in person, I’d probably roll my eyes and keep walking, but I can totally see how it would offend those who walked by. People don’t want to feel weird about their bodies when they’re just walking down the street, minding their own business.
Pretty much crossing all of the lines here.
I guess some people liked the stunt, but most didn’t.
Great outreach campaigns ! https://t.co/18KYHGhsrm
— Chris Cope (@ChrisCope81) July 24, 2016
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