Debating body positivity

Person thinking about Positivity


By Jessika Fulton/ Staff Columnist

Based on society’s standards, body sizes dictate the way a person is perceived. 

A recent article in the British paper “The Telegraph,” shed light on a pop up Nike athletic clothing store with new inclusive plus-size clothing. 

The reporter, Tanya Gold, shared her negative opinion about the plus-size clothing and the mannequins wearing the clothing, stating, “The new Nike mannequin is not a size 12, which is healthy, or even 16 – a hefty weight, yes, but not one to kill a woman.  

Gold’s article continued to bash Nike, describing the mannequin as “pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement” and claiming the mannequin was “not readying herself for a run in her shiny Nike gear.” 

Although the campaign from Nike was intended to promote body positivity, the resulting hateful commentary from Gold and other media outlets had the opposite effect.

I believe that Gold’s comments on the Nike campaign is a disrespectful attempt to shame people with bigger bodies. Gold’s exclusion of people of larger sizes does not show sensitivity toward those who cannot live up to society’s standards and toward the many people who suffer from eating disorders.

In a recent survey, 2.8 million people were diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder, BED, in the United States. A study by, broke down the likelihood of women and men having BED and stated that “binge eating is associated with being overweight and obese and affects three times the number of people diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia combined.” 

Such eating disorders make it nearly impossible for certain individuals to obtain Gold’s “healthy size 12” body shape.

The South Carolina Department of Mental Health reports that “8 million Americans have an eating disorder” and 60 percent of the sufferers either refuse treatment or die from the disorders’ side effects. Trying to live up to society’s standards can mean life or death for some people. 

In light of the heavy societal pressure to conform to a certain body type, companies such as Nike that attempt to boost body positivity should be applauded not attacked. Nike is working to change people’s perceptions of themselves and others and prove that health and fitness has nothing to do with body size.

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