Friday, October 12, 2012

Why body-shamers can eff right off

Yesterday I received my monthly Marie Claire in the post (the only women's magazine worth reading imho), and here's the first insert that fell out...


This prompted me to write a response...

Dear Planet Fitness

Thank you so much for your concern over my body. Why, just this morning I was contemplating how I could possibly feel worse about myself, and then you came along! For years I've been wondering why all my skinny friends want to sit next to me on the beach, and now I know. Thank you for pointing this out to me, for a moment there I thought I was living a normal life as a *GASP* overweight woman!

I'm sure whatever ad agency conceptualised this ad thought it was hilarious. I guarantee that whoever wrote it has never struggled with being overweight. Now I know, I know, it's just so much fun to laugh at the fat kids. Kinda reminds you of that false sense of entitlement you had in junior school right? Well since the fat kids might be interested in going to a gym (we like to go and be fat in public, INCONSIDERATE right?!) maybe it's time to rethink your strategy.

Please allow me the honour of spending my money on your gym, it's just not summer unless I'm being made to feel like a beached whale on a pilates ball.

Love and cake, Mich xxx

This kind of direct marketing is exactly why I will be staying put at Virgin Active. Their latest ad campaign (that's been going for ages now) makes me happy every time I walk into the gym. Because it is such a spot-on human truth, we all really do have our stuff. Mine might be a food addiction and someone else's might be an undereating disorder. One is not superior to the other, we are both just doing the best we can to overcome it and feel at home in our bodies. And I really appreciate that being acknowledged by a space generally known for body-shaming; the gym.





Anyone out there not 100% happy with their body (so everyone then?), a little less shame and a little more compassion makes all the difference.

x

10 comments:

Leila Badsha said...

Well said! That is some shocking marketing. Seriously who do they think they are. I am really glad I don't go to Planet Fitness any more.

michness said...

I know right! So off-putting! Thanks for commenting :) xx

Genevieve Kuttel said...

I consider myself as an average sized woman, but even that planet fitness advertisment resulted in a "gulp" response. It immediately makes me question whether I am thin enough or priveldged enough to be wear a bikini or if my body will only be summer ready after daily hours in the gym?! Surely this advertisment only results in disempowerment and throws us into the depth of our insecurities regarding private body issues. Is hurtful marketing really the means to gaining more members? Good eye opener Mich.

Jess said...

amazingly written mich. and so true. what an awful advert. hope whoever thought of the concept behind it reads this!

michness said...

Gen I love your comment. It's not just overweight people who get hurt by this sort of advertising, it's everyone. xx

michness said...

Thanks Jess! I know, I wish I knew what agency did it...probably in-house! x

Jess said...

fok. hope it was inhouse, if not, the agency is the worst ever!

Stam said...

amazing, hit the nail right on head.

Nomali said...

What douchebags! As a woman who wants to work to work in advertising things like this right makes me want to pull my hair right out. As a fat woman who wants to get fit this makes me think "yeah, what's the point." This is some shady shiz! I wonder which genius thought this would speak to any fat person wanting to get healthier on a human level.

PS: I LOOOOVE that Virgin campaign.

michness said...

I know! Here's to fat girls in advertising! ;) xxx

Post a Comment