Recently I had to pinch myself and check the year on my calendar. It's 2018 by the way with 2019 just around the corner which is why I was so shocked when I saw a recent campaign by clothing company - who I won't mention.
They are using predominantly size 4 models under the age of 25 to plug all their fitness clothing like it's the most natural thing in the world. I didn't find it offensive, I found it hilariously ridiculous.
Last year it was reported around 9 million people in the UK had a gym membership. A substantial amount of people. People like you or me, who aren't size 4.
Now, don't get me wrong I know a few people who fit that description (size 4 and younger than 25), they are my friends and I respect them but even they will tell you it's not what a real gym class or running club looks like. They would laugh too.
If you have ever been to a gym or joined a running club you will know they are made up of a real cross-section of society. Different sizes, ethnicities, religions and ages. Grey hair. Blonde hair. Crows-feet. Perfect skin. Acne. Bingo wings.
Basically - a real big mix of sweaty, sweaty, sweaty people pushing themselves. People you see walking down the street and at work. Puffed out cheeks stuck to bright red faces. Oh, and sweat. Did I mention sweat?
In fact, they only have one thing they have in common, aside from the sweat:
- A desire to lead a healthier lifestyle. To get up and move.
- To make themselves feel less self-conscious, anxious or depressed.
- They want to get some endorphins dancing around their synapses and feel good about themselves.
It takes all sorts of people to make a world. It takes all sorts of people to make the world a better place. Yet it takes a few people to temporarily disrupt the work of others striving for equality, representation and respect.
For me, I don't just find it almost oppressive that some brands still push this out-moded idea of health and fitness, I find it absolutely delusional. I'm concerned that brand directors of these large fitness companies still struggle with the idea of diversity and want to push size 4 young models at us.
I'm worried that it can make women of all ages, shapes and sizes feel insecure. So if you have a mother, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a niece or basically any woman you know who loves fitness but doesn't fit "the mould". I ask you to please share this to show brands that it's just not going to fly anymore.