I’m a Bearded Lady!


I’m all for being fit, but hot damn this is some offensive bull (Jessica, Feministing):

Via Jezebel, we find out about perhaps the world’s biggest asshole, Michael Karolchyk.

Karolchyk owns a gym in Denver that he calls an “anti-gym.

It has numerous slogans, from “Too chubby; Never find a hubby,” to “Have Sex With The Lights On” to “Save The Chubbitos” to “No Chubbies.” It also has numerous amenities, including “live DJs, cage dancers, and our elite co-ed Ravish Room.” The Ravish Room turns out to be a sauna that admits only members who have reached a sufficiently low body mass index, but you also have to be screened to so much as join his gym, where motivational techniques include having cupcakes hurled at you on the treadmill…

Charming. But nothing, nothing, beats this horrific commercial, “Hottie” in which Karolchyk physically assaults a “chubby” crying woman by pushing her onto a couch (so that her cake smashes up against her full humiliation style) while yelling “Moo!” at her. And that’s just the tip of the asshole iceberg. If you can’t watch the full commercial, a breakdown is after the jump.

It’s stuff like this that makes me just fucking hate people.

Oh, and by the way, if you have the audacity to contact the “Anti-Gym” about their disgusting ads and vile owner, you are a “bearded lady.”

From the site’s “bearded lady guide”:

9. Think all Anti-Gym ads are offensive. Are also offended by PG13-rated movies because they have the emotional maturity of a 12-year-old.

10. Have enough time on their chubby hands to send hysterical emails or phone calls to Anti-Gym sponsors.

Leave it to Karolchyk to show that a woman’s proper concern is being a sex object, and healthy weight(Our Descent) aside, must become super skinny to snag a “hubby”.  It also pigeonholes men into cock driven violent asswipes.

It also feeds into the long standing frame of the carnivalesque, where the grotesque and strange becomes a comical recipient of violence.  A commenter notes:

Not surprisingly, I first found this video on CollegeHumor.

Get it?  This is supposed to be funny.  Where have we heard that before?

Why get upset about this?  Because it normalizes violence against women and anyone two shades heavier than stick.  Because it reinforces harmful gender stereotypes using a mix of violence and humor.

The ad is on TV:

I saw one of their ads on TV a couple of nights ago – midway through the evening news. It almost made me cry and did make me turn the TV off. Are they trying to give people flashbacks to mistreatment in school? These are offensive on so many levels – and they employ the bullying tactics that scream hate into the very soul of any person ever teasted, even if they were teased for other things than weight.

Which means those of us who are bearded ladies have a range of options to be heard.

(image source: home movies)


One Response

  1. […] Posted on January 8, 2008 by Dan (Fitness) A while back I caught a story via Feministing about a truly awful gym.  Well, I got an email from one Keely Spencer (Marketing Manager at 5280) suggesting I head on […]

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