Writing rage-bait articles that are sure to offend is one of the few remaining ways to get clicks in today’s desperate media environment and the latest to stab her pen at the anthill was Telegraph columnist Tanya Gold.
In an editorial titled “Obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie” Gold argued that Nike’s new plus-size mannequins promote obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle rather than body positivity or simple the range of sizes that human beings come in.
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
Gold piled on the adjectives, calling the plus-size mannequin “immense, gargantuan, vast” and claiming that a person that size would be incapable of running.
“Yet the new Nike mannequin is not size 12, which is healthy, or even 16 – a hefty weight, yes, but not one to kill a woman. She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat.”
“She is, in every measure, obese, and she is not readying herself for a run in her shiny Nike gear. She cannot…”
By complaining so theatrically about the Nike mannequin and thereby indirectly fat-shaming everyone with a similar body type, Gold got the reaction she was probably looking for.
That is to say: Twitter came for her hard. Even The Good Place actress and body-positivity-champion Jameela Jamil weighed in.
What an ignorant shame mongering clown Tanya Gold is. What a hateful, judgemental, uneducated stance to take on what is a positive, progressive and BRILLIANT move made by @Nike @NikeLA @nikestore I COMMEND THEM ENTIRELY and think Tanya Gold best find the nearest bin and jump in? https://t.co/tNbfjDUWQs
— Jameela Jamil ? (@jameelajamil) June 9, 2019
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I went off. If you care about women, you best care about fat women too and show up and get loud and speak out about this sort of outrageous bigotry. It’s bad enough they have been subjected to constant policing, harassment and concern trolling over their health, when nobody knows their health situation. I GURANTEE I am less fit and less healthy than all of my friends who are bigger than me. You don’t know *shit* about their health. You are not an MRI. But THIS is crazed bullying. It’s hate speech. We can’t allow people to discuss size like this. We wouldn’t allow it about race or religion in these huge publications. The @telegraph are supporting bullying and hatred. If we just sit back and do nothing, then WE are supporting bullying and hatred. I’m disgusted and furious. Everyone at every size deserves to feel comfortable and good about themselves. And god dammit how can we shame people about their size and then try to take down mannequins for sportswear that include their size, inviting them at last into a part of the world they have been previously excluded from. So backwards, so grotesque and so disappointing. ?
To argue that certain body shapes are unable of particular physical acts is not just ignorant, rude, and shaming—it’s utterly false.
Wow @Telegraph – nice job with the Tanya Gold click bait. I look like that @nike mannequin, and I’ve done a 10k, a half, & a marathon this year. And there’s another 10k & a half coming up. If you think obese women can’t run you’ve clearly been living under a rock. pic.twitter.com/Pb2rFM5sRd
— Tegwen Tucker (@tegwentucker) June 9, 2019
— Kirsty Somerscales (@kirstsomers) June 11, 2019
So much of fatphobia is wrapped up in this faux concern for people's health but what this horrid backlash to Nike fully exposes is how such people are genuinely terrified of being considered less "special" because a fat woman can run, exercise & wear the same products they do. https://t.co/wEFosazpYS
— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Ceilidhann) June 9, 2019
1. Obese people can run – many, probably further than Tanya Gold can.
2. Obese people wear running clothes, so thank you @Nike for understanding that.
3. Thin people in running clothes aren't necessarily 'fit' or healthy.
4. Tanya Gold is hateful AF. https://t.co/8pTu4TuJz6
— Abby Langer Nutrition (@langernutrition) June 11, 2019
Tanya Gold in May vs Tanya Gold in June
It's almost as if journalists will churn out any old bollocks for cash pic.twitter.com/L9pkOEARo2
— Emmeline May ??♀️ (@EmmelineMayRDPP) June 10, 2019
— Bob Dylan Gay Ghost (@astreenaut) June 10, 2019
the most trash opinion lolhttps://t.co/T4Qc7bTJem
— Carolina VonKampen (@CarolinaMarie_V) June 10, 2019
— TripleDuluxe (@TripleDuluxe) June 11, 2019
This demeaning, close minded,judgmental article spews hatred. Nike is not“treating the obese model as potentially healthy in the cause of profit”as the writer points out,Nike is offering options to ALL sizes that wish to work out,EFF YOU @Telegraph ?#nike https://t.co/fvT7LhVZlL
— Erin B. (@queenofthestage) June 11, 2019
— Your Bougie Aunt (@NotSoEasyBreezy) June 11, 2019
Kudos to @nike! Women of all shapes and sizes who lead an active lifestyle should be able to find fun and functional clothing! I was obese & longed for great workout gear! This article is ?!
‘Obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie' | via https://t.co/W6B91Kwt6X
— Stacey Anders (@anders_stacey) June 11, 2019
I thought this was a joke at first.. couldn’t believe someone is complaining that #Nike makes work out clothes for overweight women… so that they can work out.. ? Tanya Gold has an unhappy soul and The Telegraph should have trashed this article. https://t.co/BZ8mKPyfiW
— lo.altman (@LoAltman) June 10, 2019
For the record I love what @Nike have done. But on a side note I'm still shaking my head in wonder and disgust at how people can be so vile and unkind. This human being called #Tanyagold is right down there with #katiehopkins @telegraph https://t.co/InMKXgDTk7
— amanda white (@tennistart) June 11, 2019
society: it is bad to be fat
fat people: can we buy exercise clothes so we can lose weight?
society: what do you need exercise clothes for? You're fat. You don't exercise. https://t.co/JEw7BBmqMg
— Adam Smith (@adamndsmith) June 10, 2019
The worst case of cholesterol any of my doctors ever saw was in a woman a size 4. The most ardent runners/yoginis/ and dancers I know not in media are all above a size 8. I am 34 a size 12/14 and I can still put both my heels on an 8ft door top in 6 inch heels https://t.co/EVUm7u7uuT
— ???Sydette Clydesdale with that Lucifer??? (@Blackamazon) June 9, 2019
fat-shamers shaming fat people 24/7 under the guise of 'looking out for their health' to then get mad about… workout clothes for fat people. are you stupid or are you an idiot? https://t.co/S6vkv6hRsZ
— tobes (@bobimono) June 10, 2019
I work out six days a week. I am fat. I wear workout clothes while working out. The world continues to turn. Shut up.
— roxane gay (@rgay) June 10, 2019
A reminder: Body size does not correlate with physical health! And don’t you forget it!