Nike Plus Sized Mannequin

(FOX NEWS) -- Critics of Nike's new plus-size mannequins are getting backlash for exhibiting less-than-model behavior.

Fox News reports that when the retailer recently unveiled a plus-size mannequin at its Nike location on Oxford Street in London, some critics weren’t so kind to the mannequin upon its debut.

Writing in The Telegraph, Tanya Gold described the mannequin as “immense, gargantuan, vast” and [heaving] with fat” in an article suggesting Nike had given up on the “war on obesity” by debuting the inclusive mannequin. A detractor also lashed out on social media, repeatedly deriding the mannequin’s looks (and any customers who may share its shape).

Backlash to both was swift. Twitter users criticized Gold for her allegedly “fatphobic” remarks, and others chastising The Telegraph for publishing Gold’s article in the first place. One user even claimed the outlet's actions were essentially "fat-shaming by a national newspaper."

Others simply wondered what kinds of attire – if any – a plus-size person was "supposed" to work out in.

Other prominent supporters also came to Nike’s defense, including activist Callie Thorpe, who called The Telegraph’s article “disheartening.”

View this post on Instagram

it’s so disheartening working in an industry where you think great strides are being made, only to be starkly reminded that fatphobia is rampant and no matter what we do we will never be respected Just last week we saw something incredible happen. @nike put a plus size mannequin in Nike Town. A representation of a body we never see in the fitness industry. It was powerful But yet again another think piece comes out. Another dehumanising, awful set of words to remind us fat people that we are despised by society. Tanya Gold the writer of the piece in the Telegraph describes the mannequin as “An 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 run. She is, more likely, pre-diabetic and on her way to a hip replacement.” I usually would write a response to this with a point to prove. something defending my point of view and those of my peers saying how outdated and disgusting these views are but quite honestly what’s the point? I’m that heaving with fat woman she is talking about. It’s ludicrous that fat people are mocked, bullied and told to get to the gym and lose weight yet we are also told, we don’t deserve the access to active wear. Do you see how ridiculous that is? Which goes to show It’s got nothing to do with health concern and everything to do with prejudice Prejudice and discrimination isn’t just harassment, or discriminatory behaviour. It’s living every day life watching as people stare at you whilst you eat. Move away from you when they think you will sit next to them, listening to countless jokes being made about your body shape on TV any film. It’s doctors not offering you care because of your weight or not getting jobs because of the size dress you wear. It’s no wonder people are turning to extreme weight loss measures like surgery because it feels like the only way out. If you are following this page and you aren’t plus size please use your platform to stand up against this especially and even more so for plus size people of colour. Hashtagging #bodypositivity isn’t enough. Please Speak out

A post shared by Callie Thorpe (@calliethorpe) on Jun 10, 2019 at 5:08am PDT

"It's ludicrous that fat people are mocked, bullied and told to get to the gym and lose weight yet we are also told, we don’t deserve the access to active wear," she wrote, in part, in a lengthy Instagram post admonishing Gold’s remarks. “Do you see how ridiculous that is? … It’s got nothing to do with health concern and everything to do with prejudice.”

A representative for Nike was not immediately available to comment on the backlash to the mannequin, although the brand made clear on its debut that the company was aiming to “celebrate the diversity and inclusivity of sport” by showcasing “plus-size and para-sport mannequins for the first time on a retail space,” per a statement obtained by Footwear News.

“With the incredible momentum in women’s sport right now, the redesigned space is just another demonstration of Nike’s commitment to inspiring and serving the female athlete,” said Sarah Hannah, general manager and VP for women in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

And for some social media users, the message has been well-received.

The Telegraph, meanwhile, had also published an additional article concerning the Nike mannequins the day after Gold’s was published, dubbing the mannequins as "inspirational."

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