Should there be seperate gyms for skinny and fat people?
by Chris & The Crew,posted Jun 13 2012 8:41AM
Yesterday we told you about a Canadian gym that only caters to plus-sized women–so much so that they ban skinny women from being allowed to work out there (because they “bring down morale”, you know). It’s something that is downright discriminatory and, based on a boatload of your comments, highly controversial. This one gym may think they are doing something positive to help overweight women get fit in a safe and like-bodied place, but it has only further ignited the fat vs. thin body wars. Take a look at the divided–and heated–discussion that took place among readers yesterday:
This is so offensive. I’m a skinny person and I wouldn’t want to be excluded from a fitness program because I’m too skinny. And to stereotype skinny people as “mean morale suckers” is just horrific.
And Allie commented:
I think it’s pretty discriminating of this gym. When I was overweight, I always checked out the skinny people. They were my inspiration, rather than a “morale sucker.” I aspired to become as fit and strong as them, which I eventually accomplished :-)
But not everyone agreed that a fat-only gym was discriminatory. Lveus wrote:
Thin people are discriminated against? Give me a break. Only someone who has been overweight can understand how it feels to walk into a gym and feel like a pariah.
And Stranded in LaLa Land added:
Really? Your life will change dramatically after not being able to go to one gym that doesn’t cater to you? Whoa, if that’s not skinny privilege I don’t know what it is.
The gym’s founder, Louise Greene even wrote in to defend her business:
I am the owner of this company and I have interviewed hundreds and hundreds of our clients, they say this has changed their life, they have never felt accepted elsewhere and it is working in their life. Sounds pretty positive to me?
Which we can almost agree with, but then she said:
Why do these stories always have to focus on thin vs. fat, we are just people trying to be healthy in an environment that works….such a time waster.
Um, it seems as though you are the one focusing on thin vs. fat, Ms. Green. You’re the one who screens clients over the phone and then directs “fitter, thinner people to other programs.” Why does it have to be that way? Why can’t gyms cater to all body types? You may say it’s because overweight people are more body-conscious and afraid of being gawked at in regular gyms. But “newsflash”, we all have body image issues–not just overweight people. Many thin women are just as self-conscious of their bodies, their jiggles, their flab and their flaws. Negative body image is not just something that strikes the overweight crowd.
Dale K agreed and commented:
What these women can’t seem to comprehend is that women who are not overweight struggle with the exact same body image and self esteem problems overweight women do. We all hate our bodies equally!
The only way the body image wars are going to stop is when we stop. That means our society needs to quit pitting thin versus fat, quit stereotyping thin women as “tiny Lululemon” people who judge and criticize women with larger bodies, and quit assuming all overweight people are the only ones with body issues. We all deal with the same things (thanks to the media and Hollywood constantly telling us that our bodies are somehow less than perfect).
To me, nothing is more inspiring during a race or a workout where people from all walks of life come together to kick some ass–no matter how big or small they are. Sweat is sweat, and when you are producing enough of it, no one really gives a shit what the person next to you looks like.
Jess needs some advice! She went out with this guy and after she started "following" him on Instagram she noticed he posts a ton of "selfies." She's thinking he may be a high maintenance kind of guy. What do you think?