In response to Tanya Gold’s Telegraph Piece “Obese Mannequins Are Selling Women
a Dangerous Lie”

Tanya Gold’s Telegraph fat shaming piece “Obese Mannequins Are Selling Women a Dangerous Lie” has caught fire with body-positive backlash around the globe.

The piece takes the momentous occasion of a Nike store in London displaying a plus-size mannequin and makes a mockery of it.

But here’s the thing, Dear Tanya. Stores without those size bodices are the ones peddling a lie. The truth is most of are on the larger end of the size range or in the extended category.

You’re peddling lies and stereotypes by saying this is an image of someone pre-diabetic who can’t run and is heading toward a hip replacement.

In fact, let’s meet on Kilimanjaro to discuss. I’ve hiked it three times weighing as much as 300 pounds. Way bigger than Nike’s representative mannequin. And no, I don’t have diabetes, nor any pre-diabetic symptoms.

Tanya, just because this is the first time you’ve seen a plus size mannequin in this manner, doesn’t mean the people that inspired it don’t exist.

What you also haven’t seen is me is in similar Nike pants training to prepare for Havasu Falls – 12 miles in and out a trek that has elevation changes like going up and down one and a half Empire State Buildings. You didn’t see me sweating it out on a Versa Climber or ladder mill to get ready for the bonus white-knuckled decent and ascent down a sheer rock face holding nothing but a wet chain on slippery notches carved into the canyon walls of Mooney Falls.

I’ve worn them to take TRX, Yoga and Spinning classes. I’m wearing them a lot these days as a gear up for some epic hikes next month in Denali National Park.

They never let me down because they are fit for my body.  I’m so appreciative of those companies such as Columbia Sportswear that are embracing inclusiveness in the outdoors and not only providing great functional extended size gear but actually showing people in it. REI even has an Inclusive ambassador.

Because there plenty of people out there like me such as Mirna Valerie taking on Ultra Marathons like it is her job. Actually it is. She, like me, is a sponsored athlete.

Hear that Tanya?  Athlete.

We athletes need gear to get to our goals that have nothing to do with a scale. I spend decades punishing myself with food and binging to push myself away from emotions and the difficulty of life. Now I am only fully alive on a hike – as I my husband and I took on two valley hikes on the Big Island of Hawaii this year and finished the trip with a seven-hour trek up Mauna Kea.

Nike is providing clothing for people not only to stay active but also to fill a life that’s true to their values. If you don’t have the clothing to live your adventures and how are you supposed to be fit? How are you supposed to fit in with the things that you love doing?

I speak around the country and I can’t tell you how many people have tried to join a gym but I feel so incredibly intimidated because somebody made fun of them or looked at them in a way that made it obvious that they didn’t think that they belong there.

Here’s the fact people who are in control of their weight are the outliers. Until companies like Nike start to embrace the fact the majority of people are in the larger end of their size range or in extended sizes they will not succeed.

There is an entire market out there for people in larger bodies who want to be active and strive to live challenges do you amazing things and it’s wonderful that Nike is not only made clothing to fit those people but is willing to show it.

May many more retailers follow in Nike’s footsteps embrace this inclusiveness. May many more of us plus-size adventures leave Tanya Gold in the dust.