A Connecticut location for the gym Anytime Fitness has been taking a good deal of heat on social media for sending out a promotional email that fat-shamed people into working out.
According to Fox News, a woman was “horrified” to receive an email from the gym that urged her to “pinch” and “grab” her body’s love-handles to shame her into joining the gym just in time to get her summer bikini bod going.
“I…am horrified by this promotional email from @AnytimeFitness,” said Mora Reinka on Twitter. “I just don’t even know where to begin.”
Reinka shared the email earlier this week, titled “Be comfortable in your skin this summer.” Her post has since gone viral with 1,300 likes and 260 comments.
“Mora, I need you to do me a favor,” the email began. “Think about the warm days of summer ahead. Warm summer night breezes. Lake or beach time. Seeing family (the ones you like). Spending more time with the kiddos (also the ones you like.). Listening to music. Shorts, bathing suits, flip flips. The smell of suntan lotion.”
“And LOTS of pictures of you that will be posted online forever,” the email continued. “LOTS of sucking in, side turns, skinny arm posts, and God forbid, a side [picture] while sitting down. Do me a second favor: Take your hand, and grab the excess you have on your waist (front/back/sides). Can you pinch it? Or can you grab it? Well, I want to call it what it is… FAT.”
“Apparently nowadays I gotta be politically correct. Maybe I should say ‘adipose tissue,'” the email concluded.
Yahoo Lifestyle reports that the owner of the gym’s Manchester location sent the email to Reinka, who had stopped attending Anytime Fitness two years ago.
After serious backlash on social media, a spokesperson for Anytime Fitness later told Fox News that the company found the email both appalling and “insensitive.”
“We are appalled by the message that an Anytime Fitness franchisee sent to several former members of his gym. The message was the polar opposite of how we coach our franchisees to communicate with the public,” Mark Daly, national media director of Anytime Fitness, told Fox News. “We’re proud of the fact that Anytime Fitness has rightly earned a reputation as a gym that supports and encourages its members. The owners and staff at thousands of Anytime gyms worldwide genuinely care about the well-being of their members and strive to assist them in improving their quality of life.”
Daly asserted to Fox News that the individual franchisee sent the email in jest to people urging them into joining the gym and did not have corporate backing.
“This particular franchisee thought he was being clever in motivating former members to re-join his gym. He was wrong. He was insensitive,” Daly continued. “We told him so, in no uncertain terms, and he apologized – promising not to repeat his errors. Our corporate staff spent much of the day yesterday apologizing to those who were offended by the franchisee’s message. I imagine we will continue to do the same today.”