Anytime Fitness is apologizing for an email sent out by one of its franchise owners, body-shaming members to get in better shape for the summer.
The email sent out from the gym’s Manchester, Conn. location was advertised as a call to “Be comfortable in your skin this summer!” However, instead of feeling comfortable, the recipient of the email, Mora Reinka, was “horrified” by its message.
“I just don’t even know where to begin,” Reinka wrote when she posted a screenshot of the email to Twitter.
In it, the email addressed the “warm days of summer ahead” and urged members to think about spending time at the beach or lake with family and friends, before suddenly taking a turn.
“Shorts, bathing suits, flip flops. The smell of suntan lotion. And LOTS of pictures of you that will be posted online forever,” the email read. “LOTS of sucking in, side turns, skinny arm posts, and god forbid, a side pic while sitting down.”
Still, the message continued to get worst.
“Take your hand, and grab the excess you have on your waist (front/back/sides.)” it continued. “Can you pinch it? Or can you grab it? Well, I want to call it what it is...FAT.”
Immediately after posting, many others reacted similarly to Reinka, saying that the message was not only “disappointing,” but also dangerous.
oh. my. It's like an eating disorder sent out an email.— Kaylee Crockett (@DrKBCrockett) June 12, 2019
This is very disappointing to see. Gyms need to have better awareness of eating disorders and other mental health issues relating to body image. This is not appropriate to send to anybody.— Mental Health TV (@MentalHealth_TV) June 13, 2019
“Be comfortable in your skin this summer” seems completely at odds with the rest of the text here.— The CBDiva (@TheCBDiva) June 12, 2019
Nice.— trapcook (@trapcook) June 13, 2019
Especially like it juxtaposed with their “Be comfortable in your own skin!” tag line.
“Well, I mean, not all THAT skin!”
Yet another glaring example of why the gym as we know it is dead. Ridiculous.— Tom Holland (@tomhfit) June 13, 2019
One Twitter user even expressed that she’s had an experience at an Anytime Fitness gym by which she felt body shamed by a trainer.
They’re horrible! I quit their gym a few months ago and one time I was in the gym for 30 mins and when I left one of the fitness instructors said to me “where are you going? You’ve only been here for 20 minutes” 👀👀👀— Hels (@helsprince) June 13, 2019
Still, Anytime Fitness’s National Media Director, Mark Daly, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “That is not the sort of message that Anytime Fitness supports or encourages.”
“In fact, it is the exact opposite of how we coach Anytime Fitness franchisees to communicate with potential members. We pride ourselves on being supportive and encouraging — never shaming,” Daly wrote in a statement. “I just spoke with the franchisee owner of the gym and expressed our disappointment. He apologized for his ill-advised attempt at humor and promised not to send similar messages to anyone. We will be re-training the owner of the gym to be supportive and encouraging in his messaging and his actions.”
Daly confirmed that the message was sent out by the owner of the gym’s Manchester, Conn. location, Shawn Pyron, who allegedly thought the message was humorous.
Pyron tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he realizes the message was “not funny.”
“I’m very sorry about the promotional message that I sent to Ms. Reinka and other former members of our gym. It was poor attempt at using humor as a motivation for people to lead healthy lifestyles,” he wrote in a statement. “I realize now that the message was not funny and that it offended many people. I’m truly sorry. I’ve learned from all of this and I will not repeat the mistake.”
Daly also apologized to Reinka on Pyron’s behalf via numerous platforms.
Update: Anytime Fitness corporate has called the franchisee (it was an attempt at “humor” 🤔🙄) and apologized pic.twitter.com/hezuTMraMe— Mora Reinka (@MoraReinka) June 13, 2019
Reinka did not respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. She did confirm on her Twitter account that she hasn’t been a member of Anytime Fitness for two years.
Ironically I’m not even a member anymore?? I used to be but switched gyms two years ago 🤷🏼♀️— Mora Reinka (@MoraReinka) June 13, 2019
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