From Jane Fonda to bikini body children’s classes, why do we sex up female fitness?
How would you feel if your 11-year-old daughter signed up for “bikini body” fitness classes? It’s that time of year, after all, we’re being told to get “beach ready” (another cretinous term) – and much as you’d like to keep her in that burkini until her mid-to-late thirties, she’s going to be a little lady soon.
A little lady with body image issues, if the Ripley Academy in Derbyshire – who caused outrage last week after advertising the class – has anything to do with it. Actually that’s more than a little unfair. Once the furore blew up, in the way that only a news story involving schoolgirls and anything to do with sex in the age of social media can, it was quickly made clear that the school’s principal, Carey Ayres, had been unaware of the wording used on posters advertising the after-school class – which had been written without permission by an over-zealous supply teacher (presumably hopped up on the weekly women’s magazine zeitgeist).The school has since apologised and assured its parents that “we would never condone any class, or after-school activity, that may put pressure on any young person in terms of their own body image”. No harm, no foul. But it was the words of a concerned parent that stayed with me: “This is sexualising the fitness class.” To which – if I were in the habit of calling people ‘honey’ – I would say: “Honey, that ship has sailed.”More