You’ve probably seen this photo making the rounds on social media … Nike has debuted a plus-sized mannequin in its flagship London store and its decision has been both celebrated and slammed.
In every body positive corner of the internet it’s been incredibly heart-warming to read stories about what it’s meant for people to see someone of their size and shape represented in a mainstream sports store.
But step outside that BoPo safety net … phooarrrr. It’s been both amusing and painful to read scathing comments about this mannequin (who is in fact a similar size to me) … her very presence is apparently ‘disgusting’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘promoting death’. And this isn’t just a small collection of nameless trolls. From one Telegraph article: ‘She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat … 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.’
Huh ?!?!? What amazing super-doctor powers this journalist has to predict all that from one factor: size. Fatphobia remains alive and well … one of the last acceptable forms of discrimination.
It’s left me more inspired than ever to keep advocating for a world where children retain their innate fascination and trust of their bodies all the way to adulthood, regardless of size. Because when we respect our bodies, when we’re not taught to disassociate from or denigrate them – we naturally take care of them, in whatever unique, individual way that looks for us.
Can you imagine how freaking awesome it would be to raise a generation of humans not burdened by constant thinking about what they look like? With their brilliant minds occupied by thoughts about helping others and the planet, instead of how they wish they could fit into their skinny jeans or how ‘bad’ they’ve been with food this week?
Let’s make it happen!! It starts with us!