Sometimes finding the hidden plus-size section in a women’s clothing store can be a workout. Retail outlets often hide their supply, if they have one, on hangers near the back of the store and display their smalls, 0s, and petites up front on dainty mannequins. It’s as if to imply that everyone either is or should be smaller and that larger women should shop somewhere else.
Well, sweat no more.
Nike, with a recent renovation of their location in London, has revealed a whole floor dedicated to women who work out, housing mannequins of every size. Instead of hiding their plus-size athletic wear in the back or by the picked-over clearance rack, the retailer has chosen to display it proudly on mannequins with bodies that are more representative of the people who would wear it.
By showcasing their plus-size clothes and models, Nike sends a subtle message that real people exist in all sizes and that all are worthy of stylish, comfortable clothes. The presence of diverse mannequins in their stores also makes the powerful statement that anyone can and deserves to take care of their body through movement and exercise.
So take that, gym-judgers.
Many women on Twitter are singing the praises of Nike’s step towards body-inclusivity, relieved to be able to buy workout clothes that fit:
Round of applause for Nike Town in Oxford Street opening up a women’s clothing area on the 3rd with plus size mannequins 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 #westand pic.twitter.com/9sx1DZTOi2— 𝒮 🤍 (@SPMDX100) June 7, 2019
Nike is displaying plus-size mannequins for the first time at their flagship store in London. 👏 It’s about time, BBW need love too 🤗😘 @mymixtapez pic.twitter.com/CSq3dYSg6y— My Mixtapez (@mymixtapez) June 7, 2019
Others, however, think that the mannequins are a bad idea and promote “unhealthy” body sizes. Recently, an opinion piece by Telegraph journalist Tanya Gold has come under fire for criticizing Nike’s move, claiming that the new mannequins are “obese” and unrealistic:
Tanya Gold: 'The new mannequin is obese, and she is not readying herself for a run in her shiny Nike gear. She cannot run. She is, more likely, pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement. What terrible cynicism is this on the part of #Nike?' https://t.co/51VmvUCxLE— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) June 9, 2019
Twitter users fired back in a rage. Some criticized Gold’s presumption that a certain size guaranteed negative health consequences for every body. Others asserted that even if that size is unhealthy, women working out to improve their health still need athletic clothing that fits.
Where do you stand? Do plus-sized mannequins promote the acceptance of all body types or of unhealthy habits? Let us know in the comments below!