Nike has been in my social media feeds a lot over the past week, and several people have sent me the various articles excitedly asking me, “have you seen this?!” like I’m supposed to be happy over the perceived bone Nike has thrown fat women.
At first, I was neutral on the matter. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, you can google the articles on your own, but I’m not linking any of them because all that I’ve read have some form of bias I’m not totally comfortable linking to myself, but essentially Nike has gone and unveiled plus-sized mannequins in their stores. Big deal.
Sorry, I can’t get excited over this. It’s not a sign of solidarity, it’s not a movement of inclusion, it’s not a signal to the market to say, “hey, we see you and we’re going to do better”–nope, it’s just a flashpoint marketing scheme to drum up a bit of business and will die away soon.
Remember how excited everyone got back when Nike announced they were releasing extended sizes in their sportswear? Uhhh….have you actually looked at what portion of Nike’s sportswear collection those extended sizes encompass? Sure, there’s some extended sizes in Nike that women can obtain, but you can’t walk into a Nike store or go online and simply find the vast selection of sportswear lines you are seeking in a variety of sizes. Shallow promise at best that Nike was going to “do better for women.”
Now that this newest revelation with the mannequin has been released out into the market, we of course have those coming back with backlash articles spouting trash like Nike is promoting obesity, that “why would someone that size even want to dress like that because they wouldn’t have the mobility to even run” (paraphrased, but that was a quote from an article this morning), and other not so eloquent language used toward fat women.
See, while I think this whole move by Nike was simply a marketing ploy for a teeny tiny part of their market and I don’t particularly care to feed into that side of it (but sadly am by the sheer fact of saying anything), the backlash is the part that butters my biscuit. People come in all shapes and sizes. That’s just a reality of life. At the end of the day, no matter how much weight I lose or don’t lose/my body changes in size, and how toned my body gets, I will never be a size 2. It’s not how my body was created. Sure, I’ve got a smaller upper body, but sweetheart, I’ve got thighs and booty for daysssss and that’s life. At some point the world is going to have to release this stronghold of thin privilege and realize that it’s not obesity glorification, but simply an acknowledgment that there might simply be someone out there that doesn’t look like YOU, and that not everyone has to look like you in order to be “healthy” or “fit.”
Clothes are designed to fit bodies. ALL bodies in some manner. It shouldn’t be a chore (and boy, let me tell you…it’s been an adventure) to find the appropriate sportswear to fit my body at all the sizes it’s been so far–because why would someone when they were over 435lbs need sportswear that’s moisture wicking? (Dude…I seriously worked out in cotton clothing until I lost my first probably 50-75lbs because I couldn’t find anything appropriate several years ago. OUCH!). Gratefully, I’m able now to have done the footwork so I can send men and women of all sizes in the right direction so they don’t have to be as frustrated as I was finding the clothes to fit their bodies to be able to the things that they want to do.
I don’t need a mannequin in a showroom to show me a limited line of clothing–what I need is more inclusionary clothing for men and women on the market for all sizes and price points so people aren’t so paralyzed in taking the next step to move their bodies in whatever way feels good to them. Sorry Nike, I get it, you tried…but not quite.
Rant Over. Oh, and Happy Monday!