The “Married at First Sight” star sparked controversy by posting an image of a larger-than-average mannequin outfitted in workout gear to his Instagram Stories page. “Those that say this is empowering are completely delusional,” he wrote in the caption. “It’s promoting early death. There is no power in that.”
— jasonsxt (@jasonsxt) December 7, 2022
After getting several messages calling him out, Holmes clarified his statements and said they were taken out of context. But he didn’t apologize, backtrack, or say bodies can be healthy at every size, which is a common talking point from the fat acceptance movement.
He acknowledged that many believe overweight people should be working out and shouldn’t be dissuaded from wearing workout clothes. But Holmes insisted that Nike was promoting that body type, not trying to encourage overweight people to exercise.
The trainer said he wasn’t “body shaming” women with his post, saying instead that activewear companies that “promote obesity” should be the focus of everyone’s anger.
“I’ve done a bit of a scan of all the crazy DMs and got a bit of an overview of what people were saying,” the reality show star said in a follow-up post. “And what people were saying was ‘what are people supposed to wear in the gym if they can’t promote overweight activewear.’”
“Hey – clothes? It’s just the gym. It’s just a bunch of metal objects that you pick up. You don’t necessarily need to wear a particular brand of clothing to do that,” he continued. “That’s not the issue, it’s when brands start to cater to unhealthy body types — my concern is where does that lead?”
Holmes also said his comments should be received “with compassion” because he knows losing weight can be challenging.
“I understand it is quite difficult to lose weight. The steps in order to do it are relatively simple but to execute it is pretty difficult… I worked in the fitness industry for close to 10 years and it isn’t a new subject to me,” he said.
The “MAFS” star concluded by slamming brands that promote “unhealthy” body types to make money, which is what he believes Nike is doing with the mannequins.
“When we have brands that essentially promote this idea to make money, yes, I have an issue with that,” Holmes said.
The comments were flooded with criticism from followers who thought people of all sizes should exercise in Nike activewear. They also called out the reality star for his past steroid use.
“It’s a bit rich preaching about healthy lifestyles etc when you have abused steroids don’t you think?” one person replied.