So Nike introduced plus sized clothing, and that’s good. A bit late, but still a good thing.
Ragen Chastain writes, “Nike makes clothes for sports and physical activity. They figured out that they could make those clothes to fit fat people, and the Nike plus size line was (finally) born. As someone who has been both fat and an athlete for as long as I can remember, I would just like to say — it’s about damn time. To be clear, this line has size limitations. Most items go up to 3x, and the sports bras only go up to a 38. But it’s progress.”
And then there was a backlash, not good at all. Lots of awful stuff was said about Nike encouraging people to be fat.
Again Ragen writes, “If these trolls would prefer that I work out naked, I have no problem with that (except maybe for the chaffing). But somehow, I doubt that would please them either. What they are looking for is a world where fat people live in shame — hiding in our houses, unable to participate in a world that, if they had it their way, wouldn’t accommodate us at all.”
What’s striking about the backlash is how much vitriol there was aimed at people who wear pus sized workout clothing,
I shared Ragen’s story on our Facebok page and our community responded. With permission I share their comments here.
“I think it’s worth noting too how much shade we get when we try to work out in public places. Straight sized people seem to be offended when I work out near them. Or sit beside them on the subway, or eat near them. Or exist.”
“I don’t really get this. I mean, I get making clothes for larger people – I’ve suggested as much to a few lines of athletic clothing (it’s an untapped market! Why wouldn’t you?), but I don’t get why people care so much about what other people do with their bodies. Don’t they have their own to worry about?”
“When I lost weight about 6 years ago I went to the gym every day. I wanted to look good and be comfortable, which made going to the gym easier. Working out in daggy stretched pants and an oversized shirt that absorbed the sweat didn’t cut it. Kudos to Nike for meeting this need.”
“They hate fat people and want us to be unhappy or ashamed. Nothing new here.”
“People hate fat and fat people so viscerally it’s actually terrifying.”
“Because then they might have to look at us? How dare we befoul public spaces with our bodies!”
Like many of you, I don’t get the hate. I mean, I get it. I’m sometimes the recipient of it. I wrote about being yelled at for being a fat woman on a bike in this blog post.
But I’m an unreasonably cheerful, resilient person and I reset to my default of expecting good from other people each time after something like this happens. When it happens again, I’m surprised anew.
How about you? What’s your reaction to the negative response to Nike?