Pennington Ads

I hope you have had a chance to see the Pennington ads that are now showing on TV. It is a woman of size wearing a bra and briefs, several funky choices and she dances in and out of the shot. It is also a breast cancer campaign if I recall. I have heard lots of chatter about the fact she is a large woman. From my camp it is mostly positive but of course lots of the negative chatter from those who are opposed to using large women as role models.

This could be a very long piece, as most of you know I have lots of opinions, but this reminded me of something important…..When I started to teach fitness for large women 30 years ago it was the first time folks in community centers had seen women of size participating in fitness classes. At first it was shocking to them and as we assimilated it became part of the norm. I remember very vividly when I was asked by the center to sub for a “regular fitness class teacher” who was away. The fact they asked me in itself was amazing (they were stuck but still…) but when I taught and stood at the front of the class of 50 adults, men and women I was accepted. They were accustomed to seeing me in that environment. As the class progressed I was could feel the shift and by the end they were asking me if I could come back.

Seeing this Pennington’s ad has the potential of having a real impact. It is well done, positive and hopefully will be the first of many… I am sure there are lots of opinions about the underwear but the big picture from my many years in the “plus” business is “we are being seen”. We all might choose to stand proud and give a clear message we are here, in this moment in time, as we are. For those who are fat phobic and don’t like it, well maybe you will just have to get used to it, we are great and we are part of all communities.