Nike recently introduced plus-size mannequins, one seen in this picture, where the female mannequin was dressed in a sports bra and slacks, at its London flagship store to emphasise inclusivity and sports diversity. The initiative was initially applauded and hailed as a big step forward in sportswear, but it didn’t take long for critics to find something negative to say about the retailer’s decision.
Writing for British news outlet The Telegraph, journalist Tanya Gold claimed the sportswear brand was promoting obesity – attracting ire for her ‘fatphobic’ take on Nike’s new mannequins. “I fear that the war on obesity is lost, or has even, as is fashionable, ceased to exist,” Gold wrote.
“Yet 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. 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,” Gold added.
While some commented that the plus size mannequins are promoting obesity, plenty of women on the internet were open to giving Tanya a refresher. London-based Tegwen Tucker tweeted in response along with a side-by-side shot of her body, “I look like that @nike mannequin and I’ve done a 10k, a half, & a marathon this year. If you think obese women can’t run you’ve clearly been living under a rock.”