Following the much publicised plus-sized Nike mannequin controversy last week, Peach founder Tim Hayes shares his opinion on the subject in this week’s new blog.
“Just do it” Nike told us – they never specified who. Well played to Nike for extending this inclusive branding by installing a larger bodied mannequin at its flagship store in London, already reaching iconic status.
Whilst most commentators have praised Nike for taking steps to help more women of different body types feel welcome in their stores, one journalist in particular alongside a number of trolls accused the brand of normalising “unhealthy” obesity. I was pretty shocked by this article, I’m actually not entirely sure if this is what Tanya Gold, who is clearly an accomplished journalist believes, or whether it was written to create more noise and clicks. Nonetheless it is extremely offensive whichever way you look at it; nobody has protested different size clothes thus far, so why not different size clothes for exercising in, and a mannequin to fit them? The phrase is “just do it”, whoever you are, no matter your size or experience. We all need to start somewhere.
Whilst it’s great that Nike is showing what they are about, it’s a shame that it’s taken this long to have a variety of mannequin sizes, and the fact that it’s being considered debate-worthy or shocking. I think the bigger question is why is this alarming, should it be? There are plenty of before and after pictures on Instagam with ‘obese’ people getting fit, or smashing marathons or weightlifting at all different sizes.
The term plus size is actually an old term used by the modelling industry for models with a min hip of 110cm, compared to catwalk models who generally need a hip size of below 90cm. My question is what about the between sizes, or those who don’t fit the perfect plus size proportions mold? Nike and other brands in the fashion industry taking steps towards representation with “plus size” models are being applauded, but in my opinion there’s a long way to go before this industry reflects reality. The furore over this mannequin just proves that it’s society as well as the industry, that isn’t ready to accept this concept.