Equinox enraged women with their “edgy” advertising earlier this year—featuring underweight supermodels shot by Terry Richardson in sexually suggestive positions (or arm-wrestling over a table of cookies and cake). And their video of a barely-dressed woman’s yoga routine didn’t exactly impress too many yogis, either. Generally, it seems that their female members would appreciate some inspiration that doesn’t involve blatantly objectifying women. So when they posted their “Diary of a Victoria’s Secret Model” to their “fitness” blog this morning, you could say we were confused.
The model, Elsa Hosk, wasn’t particularly offensive (or interesting)—she basically chronicles what she eats for three days, which seems to be fairly healthy. But Victoria’s Secret models are almost universally criticized every time they’re admired as examples of fitness—probably because their body types only represent 2% of women. (Or maybe because so few of us can relate to dieting and working out just to look good in lingerie).
To be fair, Equinox does give a small nod to readers who might be inspired more by athletes than models—they point out that she is a rare breed of professional basketball player-turned model. (Although they’re quick to point out that she’s traded in her sports for yoga and pilates—because god knows, a model wouldn’t want to look too athletic.)
Why couldn’t they feature a famous athlete or fitness professional who actually does inspire women to be healthy and strong—not just thin—by example? Or for that matter, why not take advantage of the plethora of fit, healthy role models working in their gyms?
Equinox’s publicity approach is obviously to play up controversy and sell their “sexy” “fashionable” image. But posting what amounts to a food diary from a Victoria’s Secret model on their blog actually makes the brand seem less concerned with health than image. Personally, I’d like my gym to place their priorities the other way around.