At a time when many organizations and brands are promoting body positivity, a major U.S.-based gym is under fire for publishing a fat-shaming advertisement.
A sub-franchise of Gold's Gym in Cairo shared a social media advertisement showing a pear next to the caption, "This is no shape for a girl."
The ad sparked outrage on social media as many people called out Gold's Gym for the way the ad seemed to mimic sexist marketing from years ago.
One of the most powerful responses to the Gold's Gym ad came from actress Abigail Breslin. On Instagram, the Little Miss Sunshine star slammed the gym for singling out women and "perpetuating body image issues."
"Things like this are the reason 9-year-old girls develop eating disorders," Breslin wrote. "Working out should be something you do for yourself, your health and your mind & body, not cuz a corporation declares your body shape isn't what girls should look like."
The correlation between body shaming media and eating disorders is extremely clear, which is why London Mayor Sadiq Khan banned fat shaming ads from his city's public transportation. According to charity Eating Disorder Hope, anorexia affects up to 4.2 percent of all women.
On Tuesday, Gold's Gym issued a formal apology and removed the online ad. The gym is in the process of terminating the agreement with the sub-franchise in Egypt.
"More importantly, to our members, fans, team members and franchisees around the world, we share your anger," Gold's Gym wrote in a statement. "We are mothers, sisters & daughters too and this is unacceptable. We understand that as a brand with a presence in 30 countries, we have a responsibility to spread a message of empowerment. To let people know that no matter where you live or who you are, fitness should make you feel strong in every way possible."
Cover image via DFree / Shutterstock.com.