Earlier this week I saw a Facebook post by a gym that showed a picture of the back of three women walking along a street – a picture that was clearly taken without their knowledge.
All three of the women are wearing black, full-length leggings, or ‘tights’. Two of the women are slim, and one woman is bigger.
There is also text on the photo, which says ‘Leggings… not for everyone’.
Several Facebook users had liked and made comments on the picture, to which one comment the gym replied something along the lines of ‘some people should be wearing a size larger because their leggings are now transparent they’re stretched so thin lol’.
Someone else commented ‘leggings are not pants’.
Honestly, it’s rare that I have an opinion on anything, but with this, I don’t even know where to start.
I don’t care about a specific gym’s public image, their professionalism is up to them, however, I do think a gym, or any kind of health-focused business, has a responsibility to promote healthy and positive lifestyles, ESPECIALLY if they choose to have a social media presence.
I understand there is a fashion industry and I understand that it’s all about aesthetics, but let’s be honest, this is not about the style credibility of a pair of leggings – it’s about the body shape of the person wearing them.
You don’t see shaming or jokes about slim women in leggings, do you? In fact, I’ve only ever seen quite the opposite.
Let me explain women wearing leggings for you.
In my experience, and I feel confident most women would agree, leggings are worn for comfort, and comfort only.
I know when I was carrying a lot more fat on my body that I only ever felt really comfortable when wearing tights. Jeans were near-impossible to find in a good fit and skirts showed far too much of my chubby knees, but leggings, oh baby they were like a dream.
Nothing else fit and I didn’t feel confident or comfortable in anything other than leggings.
So, where is the understanding?
To be able to lose weight we need a combination of education, encouragement, support, motivation, belief in ourselves and, of course, willingness to change.
That’s not something everyone has at their beckon call. It’s not a place that everyone has arrived at yet. Everyone is on their own journey, and doing the best they can from wherever they are at. Just because you’re in a different place than them, does that mean you’re entitled to laugh and criticise?
It’s no wonder so many women are afraid to go to a gym.
Gyms are a place where people go to be vulnerable. We go first thing in the morning or after a long day, looking like shit, with no make-up and unflattering outfits. We do derpy gym faces and get sweaty and gross.
But we’re all there to improve ourselves. Shouldn’t a gym do everything they can to create an environment where people feel comfortable to be raw and show their weaknesses as they work to get stronger?
For some people even turning up to a gym is a huge step towards strength, and more importantly, health.
But I know that I would feel uncomfortable and very self-conscious going to a gym like that. I know the old version of Lisa would definitely have stayed home and ate some ice cream instead of going to a place where people may laugh and hate on me.
Besides the fact that what other people wear is none of our damn business and we have zero right to comment on it, how does body shaming help to promote a healthy lifestyle?
Trust me, if a woman is carrying some extra fat then she knows it. She doesn’t need condescending taunts via social media or her self-esteem attacked.
She needs encouragement, support and a welcoming environment.
Let’s all rock the crap out of our old stretched leggings today, because COMFY.
And because the only thing around here that’s stretched so thin it’s become transparent is you, Mr Mean Gym.
How do you feel about it? Have you ever experienced anything like this? Let me know what you think in the comments below!