• Emma Green

Let’s talk about that Nike mannequin

There’s a lot of discussion right now about Nike having mannequins of larger body sizes in their stores. I think it’s a great step in the right direction, particularly as it is apparently part of a move to greater diversity, which will include mannequins representing differently abled bodies. Fitness is for everyone. It is not only for certain bodies who meet some arbitrary standard determined by society. It’s also not just about representing people who are recreationally active, professional athletes also come in all shapes and sizes. I was shocked, angry and disappointed about the article published in The Telegraph by Tanya Gold, so much so that I wrote an open letter to her. I don’t want to give a platform to that author or article. However, I would like to highlight that the idea that everyone should look the same is not only unrealistic but deeply problematic. If we look at societal issues, both past and present, many of them stem from the ‘othering’ of individuals and a desire to erase them from society. Diversity should be embraced not feared. I think your feelings about Nike’s mannequin are a good test of your own values. Whatever they are, take it as an opportunity to explore them. Our culture promotes and reinforces certain ideas and it is normal to internalise them. However, it is important for all of us to continually engage in self-reflection to ensure that such ideas do not go unchallenged.

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