Update: Gold’s Gym has taken legal action againnst the sub-franchisee in question. This had preceded the pear incident. According to Gold’s Gym, there have been other violations within the sub franchisee agreement. Since the pear post incident, Gold’s Gym Egypt and Gold’s Gym International have contacted Facebook to remove the account and Gold’s Gym Egypt have stated that they have expadited the termination process for the sub-franchisee.
For many years now, I have personally struggled with my body shape, learning to love who I am, the way that I am was no easy feat. Hearing people commenting about the way my body looks, every pound I have gained or the type of food I eat is pressure I have had to endure for many years. However, when fitness clubs start bashing the way women look, teaching them to hate their bodies in order to motivate them to work out and become fit, it all becomes demoralizing and wrong.
“there is nothing more irresponsible than the Egyptian 6th of October Dreamland branch’s shocking new ad campaign, which depicts a pear as a symbol of the well known woman’s body shape. On it is a caption which says “This is no shape for a girl””
Golds Gym has always been a brand everyone looks up to. They are present internationally in 30 countries and have millions of followers, gym members, and franchisees; it has become a fitness icon over the years. That being said, we all know that with great power comes great responsibility. And there is nothing more irresponsible than the Egyptian 6th of October Dreamland branch’s shocking new ad campaign, which depicts a pear as a symbol of the well known woman’s body shape. On it is a caption which says “This is no shape for a girl”. This very concept raises serious questions about Golds Gym’s marketing strategy, Social Media goals and the competency of their marketing team altogether.
“the pear image proposes that a woman with a pear figure should be ashamed of herself for being curvy. “
To make matters worse, they have created a Before and After Pear picture. They’ve completely disregarded the fact that this can make any beautiful woman out there insecure about her figure. Their “after” picture involves transforming a woman from having big hips and a small waist into a woman with no hips and a huge belly which really doesn’t help their point! One would think their marketing team should know more about women’s body shapes. Regardless of this strange representation, the pear image proposes that a woman with a pear figure should be ashamed of herself for being curvy. This very concept is a disturbing misogynistic idea to put out there, especially from such a brand that should encourage being healthy. A fitness health club should empower women to think better of themselves, to embrace their figures and gradually work on becoming fitter, healthier and ultimately happier individuals. This concept is clearly lost by Golds Gym’s Social Media team, at least the one handling their Dreamland branch page. Unsurprisingly, the ad has received backlash from women all over the world who are appalled by their message.
This incident has led the main Golds Gym to apologize for the “offensive and disgusting” ad campaign, claiming they had no knowledge of it, and that it certainly does not represent Golds Gym’s ideals or standards when it comes to women. The full response can be found below.
As a response to all the anger they have received online, action has been taken to pull down their Facebook page and end their franchise agreement contract with that particular branch. This is all well and good, but what confuses me is that this incident has not been the first of its kind. The Dreamland sub-franchise has consistently released offensive ads that show fat people stuffing their faces with food in a sick manner stating ‘Challenge yourself’, or claiming that women should take off their ugly fat figures to replace them with ridiculously toned ones with a ‘Take it off’ caption on top. It is a relief that the main Golds Gym management has finally taken notice and is putting a stop to this preposterous advertising campaign.