It recently went public that Nike has decided to have plus-size, curvy mannequins in their stores, and introduced one in their flagship store in London. The mannequin isn’t hiding in the back, but standing front and center in the legging aisle in high-waist workout pants and a sports bra. It’s a great effort in the fight for body positivity, but it’s not being welcomed with open arms by everyone.
A writer for UK publication The Telegraph took issue with it, even throwing digs at what she felt the mannequin represented to her. The title of the piece was, Obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie.
“The new mannequin is obese, and 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,” the writer, Tanya Gold, said. “What terrible cynicism is this on the part of #Nike?”
That piece caught people’s attention more so than the mannequins, because plenty of people slammed it, including actress Amber Riley. The 33-year-old, who has always been proudly plus size, went off about the story and told people who pretend they care about the health of overweight people when they’re really trying to bully them, to get a life.
“What is it that offends people so much about fat bodies? Even a mannequin sets y’all off? Seriously? How does someone’s mere presence create such hatred? This is disgusting,” she said on Instagram. “I don’t normally speak out and I ignore the BS but this pissed me off this morning. There are men and women out here who simply want to be included. So now we can’t have gym clothes? Or we can have it, but you just want the clothing pushed to the back of the rack so you don’t have to look at it? As much as you tell fat ppl to workout?!? I workout 4x a week, wtf do you suggest I wear?”
“I guess you guys can’t publicly spew your hatred about the lgbtqia community or people of color without being cancelled (even tho y’all still try both 🙄), so that venom has to land somewhere huh?” she continued. “You have to find some kind of controversy to sell your magazines. Fat people are the only ones left that everyone can offend and make fun of and most people will laugh it off and agree. Do you even realize how damaging it is for people to not feel comfortable existing in the body they are in? I stopped giving a s–t years ago, but a 12 or 13 year old reading this or seeing this is just heartbreaking. I know 11 year olds already saying they hate their bodies and I WONDER WHY! Let’s stop pretending that people’s concern is the health of fat people, because it’s not, that is NOT yall’s issue with people being fat. Most of you don’t like the freedom and audacity we have to live and be happy without subjecting ourselves to the unattainable beauty standards you guys beat yourselves up about, and most of you men think a woman’s main purpose in life is to get ya little pickle hard and when they don’t you shame her.”
“I’ve experienced it my whole life. So allow me to get this off my chest and heart before my trainer kicks my a– this morning, because I need to focus. LEAVE MY FAT ASS ALONE,” she added. “Let people walk around in whatever body they want and go find some business to attend to. Everyone out here smokin and drinkin everyday, teeth yellow, skin is dry, your PH balance is off, and you’re sitting here worried about fat people 🙄 GET A LIFE! GET SOME THERAPY! Eat a BURGER! Ok I’m good now 😊 be blessed ✌and thank you @nike.”
Tell, ’em sis. For the record, according to Nike, the mannequin is meant to showcase “a full range of athlete figures,” and it’s certainly doing that.