The high-end Equinox gym certainly is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year, they launched a highly sexist ad campaign featuring stick-thin, subservient runway-looking models who clearly didn’t work out. Now, their executive creative director–the one responsible for those charming ads–Bianca Kosoy, admits she doesn’t work out either. Why? Because “fitness is a fraud,” she says.
In an interview with the New York Times that ran yesterday, the 41-year-old Equinox exec is bizarrely against fitness and the entire industry. And, as evidenced in her ad campaigns for the upscale gym, she believes, instead, it’s all about looks:
I never work out. I think fitness is a fraud. That’s why I try to make it look like fashion.
True, Equinox is touted as one of the most fashionable gym chains–the place to see and be seen, if you will. And true, they have locations in some of the hippest neighborhoods around the world. But…still. Fitness is a fraud and it’s really all about fashion? Way to send an empowering message to your gym goers and let them know that the way they look and dress is of utmost importance.
I guess we shouldn’t be that surprised after she hired controversial photographer Terry Richardson to shoot Equinox’s ad campaigns. In case you missed these sexist ads, check them out. They do anything but portray women as strong, powerful, athletic beings. In fact, their ads clearly degrade and sexualize women. The guys, on the other hand, are always shown with sculpted, muscular physiques. It’s perpetuating the double standard, for sure.
But Ms. Kosoy doesn’t seem to care:
The campaign is a gatekeeper. We know we’re not for everyone. Either you get it or you don’t.
Well, we don’t get it. Just like we don’t get her non-athletic attitude that says fashion is more important than fitness. Equinox has the reach and the power to help change our body-negative and looks-obsessed society, but they don’t. Instead, they just feed that backward way of thinking. It’s disappointing, to say the least.