Friday, February 01, 2013

spartan race - sending the wrong message

Recognize that quote from anywhere? It's something that Kate Moss said to a reporter when asked about how she kept her waif-like figure. Remember Kate Moss? The "spokesbody" of heroin-chic back in the day? I'd put a picture of her up, but that would probably be against copyright rules. So you can image search how skinny she was in the 90s. (depending on your workplace, that may be NSFW) 

This is a video of a a Spartan Race (skip to about 2:00 to see the actual race) and this is the Spartan Race website.

I really don't see how the "skinny" quote fits with the image Spartan Race seems to want to portray (and for that matter, something that anyone should want to portray). When I hear "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" I think of people who are starving themselves to lose weight, of people who have unhealthy relationships with food, and people who are sacrificing health to reach an unrealistic ideal of "skinny." To me it screams eating disorder and I'm not impressed. (and I'm not the only one who wasn't impressed about this tweet - check out the responses here)

While the style of most of the Spartan Race messaging isn't my style (their website told me to stop being a lazy ass and sign up already...right next to a picture of a half naked lady who was posing like a model under barbed wire) it seems to be fairly consistent: drill sergeant-like statements that tell you to suck it up, work hard, and get stronger. It normally makes me think of this:
from the spartan race website
Not of people who would rather be thin than healthy. I have to be honest - I once thought doing a Spartan Race might be a fun challenge. A potentially overpriced, can't believe they make you pay for parking, better wear clothes I'm ok with ruining type challenge, but potentially fun. Now? I'm not sure I want to pay money to support an organization that sent a message that I think is harmful.*

What do you think? Am I overreacting? Are you as unimpressed as I am? Have you written off a company or organization because of something they've said on social media?

*I know that I probably regularly support organizations and companies who send messages that I don't agree with either because I haven't heard or seen the message or because I'm a hypocrite. But I figure I've seen this one and I was totally unimpressed with it, so that's why I'm saying something and putting my money (or lack of?) where my mouth is.


Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point said...

What a crappy tweet.

Rebecca said...

Wow - that is a little shocking

So Warrior Dash is very much like Spartan - it wasn't that hard at all. The worst part was going up ski hills - the obstacles were easy! Training for the Spartan or Warrior dashes will not make you "skinny" nor make you into a super buff person (or whatever).Ugh, totally not wanting to do Spartan now. I won't do Warrior dash again - not for that price nor traveling

janelle said...

Not an overreaction at all. I hate that quote. I unfriended people before for putting that in their status (granted, i didn't really like them much to start with, it was just the icing on the shit cake they served up).

The use of that statement doesn't make sense for Spartan to use. It's also very 'size-ist' (if that's the word for it!) Fitness and health comes in all shapes and sizes.

Leana said...

Wow, that is a ridiculous thing for them to tweet. Hopefully someone within management will be on their social media person about that! I think it is a terrible thing to promote. Aren't you trying to promote a healthy, fit lifestyle? What does skinny have to do with it?

I would have a difficult time supporting an organization with a view point like that one. Then again, that challenge doesn't really look like my kind of thing anyway. Jumping over a fire pit? No thank you! I am way too clutzy for that!

Nicole @ Haute Runner said...

Definitely the wrong message! That would not make me want to sign up!

~Nathalie~ said...

I seem to come across that very quote every so often and I absolutely hate it. Actually, every time someone posts it on FB or Twitter or Pinterest, I do an inner cringe.
When I saw the Spartan Race tweet yesterday, I just about blew up.
First of all, there is no way you can compete in or complete this race if you are not eating right. They have taken the glorification of this race too far and the use of this quote even farther. Apalling.