The Meeting Place

Plus-size mannequin sparks a weighty issue

A plus-size female mannequin displaying Nike gym gear has caused a furore in London.

On one side are health professionals who say the shop window display further normalises obesity, on the other are those who say that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and plus-size people should not feel ashamed.

The controversy kicked off when a journalist from The Telegraph wrote an article titled “Obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie”.

It stated: “The new Nike mannequin is not size 12, which is healthy, or even 16 – a hefty weight, yes, but not one to kill a woman.

“She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat.”

This prompted an avalanche of comment on social media – mainly from women – intent on tearing down the perception that being plus-size was unhealthy, comments such as: “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.”

In an ABC report, Jasmine Fardouly, a researcher from Macquarie University, said that too often, health was linked to a person's physical appearance.

“People can be unhealthy at any body size and exercising is good for everyone,” she said.

“Statistically, larger body sizes are normal within our society, so having a plus-size mannequin is perhaps more representative of the general population than the very thin mannequins often used in stores.”

What do you think?

13 comments

Choice is conducting a campaign to better label added sugar in foods.  We should be thanking Choice's subscribers and getting behind that initiative.

That's good to know..however you did not answer the question posed in the OP!

Sophie,

The National Heart Foundation site and many other reputable health authorities worldwide have settled the advice on BMI and the contributions of food, activity and other choices to that, for good or for bad.  

Without interfering in personal choice and privacy, what is left for the community to do in a democratic society, except for ensuring that the public are more easily able to advise their own choices, freely made? 

As for Nike, this is a superb way of getting free publicity.  Not that I'd be accusing it of that, just observing.  Of course, there is also the question of whether those who rage on social sites - the Twitterarti - might ever be buying the seller's product anyway.  The same applies to those surveys.

 

Choice is doing the right thing on its campaign for proper labelling of sugar contents, yes?  Have you seen its campaigns on health insurance and banking, to take a couple of extra examples?

totally agree..the hidden sugars need exposing and I heard on news that Milo and Nutrigrain (currently have star ratings of 4.5 so I understand) will lose three stars and go back to 1.5 if new labelling laws come into effect.  how anyone could ever think either of those products would  deserve 4.5 stars defies logic.

That's good to know..however you did not answer the question posed in the OP!

 

If Nike did this for all the right reasons and not just a business venture..then..I support it wholeheartedly. People come in all shapes and sizes and everyone has the capacity to exercise..being able to wear some nice gym gear can be very encouraging to some women.

I don’t go to a gym anymore because I have one fitted up at my home for convenience..but..when I did, it used to make me so mad when I saw how the “barbie dolls” would look so disdainfully at an overweight person.

Congratulations Nike..I don’t think you are applauding obesity..you are practising inclusivity.



 

Absolutely spot on Sophie! I had a free 30 day subscription to a gym, so gave it a go. Talk about demoralising! Full of 'influencers' and 'look at me' gym junkies in skimpy outfits - looked more like a dating venue than a workout place. Most barely raised a sweat. I was of the 'senior vintage', and obviously did not have the body of a spring chicken - I had on loose comfortable cotton clothing, with everyone else in tight (ofen a few sizes too small!) lycra that left nothing to the imagination. I don't think one person said a word to me the whole 3 weeks I stuck it out, yet I went out of my way to be pleasant. Like you, would rather do it my own way. 

Good on you for sticking it out, in2sunset!

The "yummy mummies" too are so funny. To them the gym is a coffee and chat  venue!

Being obese is storing up fat for the lean years! Thats what many animals do! what wrong with humans doing it. Just wait till the apocalypse comes, fatties will rule the world!

Oh yeah??

Image result for when aliens come  they will eat the fatties first

I do not take notice of the hysterical hype about body size. I could never call myself a Twiggy but I eat well and do not question my size or compare to that of anyone else. I am certainly not obese, but I am plump. One of the skinniest men I ever knew had a cholesterol level off the scale. He died some years ago. My annual blood tests for the routine checks always come back with good results. The bones may creak a bit as I age, but the approach to getting older needs to be principally mind-based and wanting to be what I am not is a waste of time. Most of these wanna-be people need a good dose of realism.

The benefits of leading a sensible, well-balanced life are certainly important, and I’m sure that heredity must play some part. There is no way I am going into stress mode because I don’t look like thin Susie down the road. I am what I am and acceptance combined with sensible eating and moderate exercise will keep me a happy person, enjoying what life offers and the many things that interest me.

You'd be in favour of Choice's campaign to have proper labelling on foods though, wouldn't you?  Also, what about fruits in their own juices and not topped up with corn syrup?

Properly labelled, we can choose wholesome food and eat what we like, our choice.

I understand the reserve on the part of the medically interested, even that knowledge and messages may be innaccurate and mixed. Also the demand for an egalitarian approach to the presentation of body norms. What I cannot see is that in an age where we are very obviously fatter than at any known time before, that anybody would want to see this presented especially in gym gear.

Fat can fit but to me those movie visions of masses of lard-arses waddling down the street don't appeal and probably don't sell clothes.

A model or a manequin can be whatever any want of it and that is not my business but it beggars belief that one cannot see an item of clothing on a model of any size and imagine what it may look like on oneself. It can even be tried on in the shops; viewed in the mirror. This capacity makes all this a storm in a teacup.

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes . It would be good to see clothes that are fashionable  for  women  who are larger in body shape. Do not have an issue si long as it is for the right reason.

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes . It would be good to see clothes that are fashionable  for  women  who are larger in body shape. Do not have an issue si long as it is for the right reason.

I was told that someone sent George Pell a blow up doll and he sent it back asking if they had one half the size

Oh spare us from your brand of so-called humour. Not appropriate for this place. Tell it to your mates off-line if you must, but don’t clutter a sensible set of posts with that stuff.

I was told that someone sent George Pell a blow up doll and he sent it back asking if they had one half the size

I don't understand why people are made to feel ashamed of their body types. We all can't be of perfect proportions. My husband used to say he loved to see a woman with a bit of meat on her, that's why he picked me. He said there was nothing more sickening than to see those models prancing down the catwalk, thinner than a cat.  

I once joined a gym and hated it. Fortunately an injury very quickly put an end to my membership. Then I discovered Curves which is a different sort of women’s gym. It doesn’t matter what you wear or what size you are. It has a system to help you build strength which is considered more important than weight loss. In fact, the more you build strong muscle, the more you increase weight but your body changes to be better proportioned. . One circuit exercises every muscle in your body and one is expected to complete 2 circuits in a session. Between each machine one exercises on mats to get a cardiovascular workout. It is an excellent gym and the best thing I ever did for my health. It is also very social and friendly. 

I need to add that there are women in their 80s and 90s at my Curves gym. Also, one session takes 30 minutes.

talk to someone who was extremely obese and lost a lot of weight and find out which weight they would rather be!

fast food chains have a lot to answer for

The 'plus size' Nike model would be described by the medical and health professionals as morbidly obese [click for link]. 

The strong recommendation for such individuals is to obtain medical advice and clearance before contemplating vigorous exercise.  One would imagine given the health warnings that apply these days that the exercise apparel might come with a warning.  Gym membership documentation would mention it.

Recently, several of my sporting and social clubs have bought automatic electronic defibrillators (AEDs) and we have had them demonstrated. 

The woman who penned the original article pulled no punches (thank the Lord it wasn't a man who raised the red flag, imagine the angst and blaming) and she has done a very kind service to women and men to buy those scales and restrict their intake of highly processed foods. 

The easiest small step and it is highly beneficial for life is to cut out sugar.  That is very difficult to do where manufacturers may not list all sugar on the label.  Then forget to buy highly processed foods. 

 

Larger and taller people do have trouble buying apparel and may be obliged to buy online.  Asian made products dominate in Aussie shops and suit a different body shape.  BTW, whatever happened to the demands for clothing and footwear manufacturers to standardise sizes?

13 comments