Thoughts on Nike Mannequins

After seeing @nunude_official shared a post stating that Nike’s flagship store in London has introduced a plus sized mannequin on their shop floor, I was absolutely delighted. Then I saw that the Telegraph had published an article about Nike’s shop titled

“Obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie”

I was fuming. There isn’t just one body type. By having a curvy mannequin, Nike are broadening their representation of our female demographic. It should not be restricted to a 6ft size 8 mannequin.

I had a discussion with a fellow blogger Sinead from @paddingtontheservicedog who has a similar condition to me called Parkes-Weber Syndrome. She had some interesting points to make about Nike’s mannequins:

“I’m considered on the cusp of plus size, but have to buy plus size trousers ALWAYS because of my leg…Do I think it’s healthy to be obese? No, but there are so many factors as to why someone could be. To have gym clothes that are available in a wide variety of sizing may make people more comfortable to work out”

What is even more shocking is that the Telegraph are supposed to be backing Changing Faces who support people with visible differences through counselling, skin camouflage clinics and also campaign for diverse, positive representation in the Media for equality for people who look “different”.

Yet they publish an article which slates Nike’s flagship store for being diverse?

During Face Equality Day (22.05.19) at the Telegraph offices, which I attended, Baroness Williams said that

“Value is placed on appearance and that there is a distorted view of what beauty and perfection looks like”

Yet today, on the 10th June,  less than a month after the launch of Changing Faces report “My Visible Difference”, Tanya Gold has described Nike’s plus size mannequin as

 “Immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat… She cannot run. She is more than likely pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement.”

I understand that obesity can cause many health complications, but there are lots of reasons why someone may be overweight other than unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. They may have a disability, condition or could be on medication which causes weight gain. So to say that this Nike Mannequin represents a fat, gargantuan woman is not just rude, but body shaming.

Therefore, by the Telegraph sharing these hateful words, it’s entirely contradicting the Christmas Charity appeal “Words Matter” they did with Changing Faces to challenge everyday prejudice!!!

Nike’s mannequins encourage a positive body image. They are encouraging women of ALL shapes and sizes to be fit. As Nunude pointed out,

“The issue with the fitness world is that it looks so perfect that the people who really want to get to the gym feel too insecure to do so”

I would feel far more comfortable and happier shopping for fitness clothes where a board range of bodies are being represented.

It’s time we embrace all forms of the body!