There was an internet furore a little while ago when some ‘offensive’ billboards were put up in the UK, and of course, the professional offense community quickly picked up on them. But was this gym poster offensive?
Fit4Less, a budget chain of gyms installed billboards in the Derbyshire area with a series of fairly unoriginal, mildly cheeky phrases on them.
Twitter as always is the first to respond:
— Natalie Harvey (@natharvey77) 5 August 2016
Was the gym poster offensive, and would it make bullying worse?
This followed with articles on the BBC, which included quotes from the lady who tweeted out the above. This makes it suspicious to us that she was probably one of the only people who was vocal about this and these sites wanted a story. Anyway, the best quote in the BBC article was:
Natalie Harvey, founder of the charity, said the poster has caused her concerns because it would “aid bullying”.
“This week alone three cases have been brought to my attention of children being bullied because of weight issues,” she said.
“If those children or the perpetrators saw this poster it would cause further harm for the children who are being bullied.
Sure, bullying is awful. Everyone’s experienced it and it should be tackled and stopped. But we don’t think it could be eradicated fully.
Coming out the other side of bullying makes you a stronger person. The world isn’t kind, and it doesn’t owe you anything. Learn to fight back kiddies.
Fat-shaming fitness poster is provocative, says Stylist
The second article we found on the subject was by Stylist, who also reference a few tweets by the same author.
This one hits all the buzzwords that magazines use to attract and play with the mental state of their readers. Articles like this make people constantly on the lookout for offense, what a terrible way to live your life – it must be very exhausting.
If the lady would never have sent those couple of tweets, would there even have been a story? Probably not.
The gym probably was hoping for a little more outrage press than it got. The stock response from the Fit4Less management was:
The poster was “obviously humorous” and “if people come down, they will see all shapes and sizes – we’re friendly and fun.”
Was the gym poster offensive? Probably, to some. Does that matter? No.
Get motivated and go to the gym!