A Nike Store In London Received Backlash After Installing Plus Size Mannequins

Controversy is nothing new when it comes to discussing women’s bodies. Whether they’re too fat, too skinny, too short or too tall – an attempt of inclusivity is almost always bound to end in a heated discussion over what’s normal and what’s not. In the fashion industry, women have been fighting for more inclusiveness and normalization of all kinds of bodies for quite an amount of time now, however, it seems that we still have a long way to go. Recently, the sports attire brand Nike introduced plus-size and para-sport mannequins at their store in London and naturally, a discussion ensued. The newest addition to Nike’s flagship store in Oxford Street is dedicated to “celebrating the diversity and inclusivity of sport”.

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Not only has the sports brand introduced a plus-size mannequin, but they have also redesigned the women’s floor in the flagship store and created a dedicated space for women. The space is called Expert Studio and it offers services such as sports kit customizations for teams, a leggings adjustment service, and bra fittings. “With the incredible momentum in women’s sports right now, the re-designed space is just another demonstration of Nike’s commitment to inspiring and serving the female athlete,” explained Sarah Hannah, Nike’s vice president for women in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “This is more than a shopping experience, it’s a destination to celebrate sport just in time for an incredible summer of football, netball, athletics and more.”

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However, there’s always two sides of the story and there were many people who weren’t there for the movement of inclusivity. Steve Miller, author of weight loss book Fatnosis and TV personality, shared his feelings by saying that the mannequin is normalizing obesity and added that it’s “not a good move, but seems the U.K. loves to be in denial of fat.” Another user who goes by the username Papa Trump, congratulates Nike for doing a great job (“Great motivator to get people to buy workout gear”) and reimagines what their slogan should sound like – “Buy our stuff and workout or you’ll be unhealthy and overweight like this mannequin.” One particular tweet received over 14,000 likes – “Class from Nike showing fat customers how awful [you] would look if [you] purchased these items.”

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Nevertheless, it’s no surprise that a lot of people on Twitter were celebrating Nike’s initiative and were glad to see a mannequin that’s ought to represent a wider part of the population. One user wrote, “[I don’t know] why but this Nike mannequin makes me feel so empowered.” Another one commented that Nike took “a big leap in history by introducing plus-size mannequins.”

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