Gold’s Gym Under Fire for Location’s Female Body Shaming Posts

(WTVM) – A handful of posts from an international Gold's Gym have sparked outrage for posts that appear to body shame women - and the company has come out against the posts. 

Two of the posts in question appear to directly shame women’s body shapes and appearances with photos and were posted by Gold’s Gym Dreamland, an independent franchise that lists its location as Cairo, Egypt.

One post, dated Aug. 10, reads: “What you leave out of messenger, put it into Gold’s Gym.” The accompanying photo shows a woman standing next to a horse, but the photo is cropped to only show her face.

The second post, dated Aug. 12, reads: “This is no shape for a girl.” The script is sitting next to a pear.

On the second post, an apology is added to the post on Aug. 15, saying:

Our apology, this post was not meant to offend anyone, and not against God’s creation, or any type of women’s body. It was meant to refer to a healthy, fit body and cutting fats, NOT THE ACTUAL STRUCTURE OF THE BODY. So again, our apology for all the women out there.

The apology might have been too late. The second post has thousands of shares, and comments stating that the gym’s post was body shaming women. The second post has since been deleted. 

“Actually, it's the most common body shape for female bodies. Y'all need a new marketing team,” Kayle Simpson wrote.

“Actually, it is,” wrote Ashley Joyce-Nyack. “Now, give me one good reason why I should go to a gym that bullies girls, instead of gyms that actually encourage me to work out.”

There are four common body shapes for women, although no woman's body fits an exact mold: 

  • Apple (triangle downward)
  • Banana, or straight (rectangular)
  • Pear, Spoon, or Bell (triangle upward)
  • Hourglass Shape (triangles opposing, facing in)

Gold's Gym has responded to the posts, saying that they are in the process of terminating the independent gym's franchisee license. The company says it also does not tolerate body shaming of any kind.

The statement, posted to their Facebook page on Tuesday, says: 

Dear Gold’s Gym Members, Followers, Franchisees and Team Members Around the World,

Words cannot express how shocked and appalled we were by the recent posts of Gold’s Gym Dreamland, a sub-franchise in Cairo, Egypt. Not only were they offensive and disgusting, they go against everything we believe in and stand for. For years we have been dedicated to helping people feel empowered by fitness, not intimidated or ashamed by it. We believe that strength comes in many forms…be it physical, mental or emotional…and that our purpose (and rallying cry) is to help people Know Their Own Strength.

Upon learning of this sub-franchisee’s insensitive posts, we immediately took action by working with Facebook to have their page removed. Also, after consultation with our master franchise in Gold’s Gym Egypt, we are in the process of expediting the termination of this sub-franchisee’s agreement. This incident only confirms that Gold’s Gym Dreamland does not uphold the values and inclusiveness that Gold’s Gym promotes throughout our global network. 

With all of this said, we sincerely apologize for these posts. Even though they were created and posted without our knowledge, they were associated with our logo and there’s no excuse for that. We are currently reviewing our internal procedures for how both domestic and international franchisees create and share social media posts so that nothing like this ever happens again.

More importantly, to our members, fans, team members and franchisees around the world, we share your anger. 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.

That’s our commitment. Always.

We hope everyone will also take just a moment to see what Gold’s Gym is really all about. You can simply visit our website or Facebook page to see our official campaign, which features incredible people of all shapes and sizes from around the world using determination, passion and inner strength to achieve incredible things.

Yours in Health & Fitness,

Gold’s Gym

The fitness powerhouse has more than 3 million members in 38 states and 22 countries,according to its website.

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