Plus size women face a lot of backlash simply for, well, existing; exercise, though, is a particularly challenging front, filled with stereotypes and stigma. That's what makes the #IWontCompromise campaign from Penningtons so impactful — they are talking back to all of the people who say that plus size women shouldn't do yoga. Although it seems like this should be a no-brainer, yes, plus size women can do yoga, and the only "should" or "shouldn't" involved is whether or not the person in question thinks they should do it.
Whenever fat shamers complain about fat people going to their gym or taking up all of the good seats at Soul Cycle, I wonder how they can harbor such prejudice while simultaneously encouraging fat people to lose weight — it seems like total hypocrisy. For context, the real problem here isn't fat people being fat; it's weight discrimination. Research has shown that weight discrimination can lead to premature death, being discriminated against by employers, higher rates of psychological disorders like depression and anxiety, and most ironically, weight gain. Until we as a society decide to deal with the dysfunction of fatphobia, we can't even begin to address weight and health in a holistic way. That's why videos and campaigns like this one that push back against the fat shaming norm are so significant: They disprove fatphobic ideas that perpetuate all of these body shaming norms.
Incredible yoga teacher Dianne Bondy highlights many of the so-called reasons why fat women supposedly "shouldn't" do yoga, then totally debunks the myths. Let's take a look at three of them here; scroll down to watch the full video and see Bondy's skills in full force.
1. MYTH: Plus Size Women Have No Balance
Clearly Bondy is proving here that you can be fat and have a great sense of balance. In fact, fat has nothing to do with balance and everything to do with your center of gravity. Sorry, fat shamers. Science isn't on your side here.
2. MYTH: Fat People Sweat A Lot And Slip
Clearly, Bondy shows that it's possible to hold yoga poses without slipping or producing buckets of sweat. It is true that those who weigh more do tend to sweat more, but weight is far from the only factor that determines how much you sweat. For example, men sweat more than women do and even factors like your anxiety levels determine how much sweat you secrete.
3. MYTH They Make Everyone Around Them Uncomfortable
All I really want to say to this is "Eff you," but let's break it down in a more civilized manner, shall we? If you're uncomfortable around a fat person, that is first and foremost your problem, not theirs. Other people don't exist to please you or have a responsibility to make you feel good; your own internal biases are not anyone else's problem but yours.
Overall, the stereotypes and ideas that exist around fatness are just side effects of fatphobia and weight discrimination. That's the problem we really need to fix. To see even more of these myths debunked, watch the full video below.
Images: Penningtons Video/YouTube (4)