Gold's Gym Responds to Its "This Is No Shape for a Girl" Ad
From Olympic athletes to Hollywood celebrities, there is no shortage of body shaming in our global culture.
And while some of these instances appear to be a bit less intentional, they're still problematic. Take Gold Gym's most recent campaign, featuring a photo of a pear with the caption, "This is no shape for a girl."
After the campaign was spotted at Gold's Gym Dreamland, a sub-franchise in Cairo, Egypt, the Internet was soon flooded with criticism, with some comparing the ad to the much more blatant sexism of fitness ads from the '60s and '70s. The company issued a response.
"Words cannot express how shocked and appalled we were by the recent posts of Gold’s Gym Dreamland, a sub-franchise in Cairo, Egypt. Not only were they offensive and disgusting, they go against everything we believe in and stand for," the statement read. "For years we have been dedicated to helping people feel empowered by fitness, not intimidated or ashamed by it. We believe that strength comes in many forms…be it physical, mental or emotional … and that our purpose (and rallying cry) is to help people Know Their Own Strength."
The company has since announced that it has terminated its franchisee agreement with the location.
But while the mainstream fitness world has had a problem identifying what it means to be healthy for some time now, as other ads like London's infamous "Are You Beach Body Ready?" campaign was similarly controversial, the future of sexism isn't all that bleak.
Apps like Spitfire Athlete, Nike Training Club, Fitocracy, and Workout Trainer spearhead both issues of sexism and body image through the powerful tool of technology. They are strength building training apps designed solely by women, for women.f a pear with the caption, "This is no shape for a girl."
The Washington Post conducted an interview in 2015 with Spitfire Athlete's co-creator, Erin Parker, about how her and her partner, Nidhi Kulkarni, intended for the app to exclusively help women with weightlifting and interval training.
"We both felt like every single resource out there was not only condescending, but way too focused on how people looked instead of their actual athletic ability," Parker said. "We wanted to bring the kind of structured, performance-oriented training we do to the everyday woman. If she's committing to her workouts, then she could do that in a more intelligent way."
Apps that aim toward helping female athletes focus on feeling good as opposed to simply looking good have proven to make an impact. Spitfire has reached more than 100,000 users, and popular fitness app, Nike Training Club, has been downloaded more than 19 million times.
This idea of body positivity resonates with some of our own MAKERS. Check out our exclusive #YourBodyRules video featuring influential women sharing what body image means to them, in their own words.
Photo Credit: Getty Images