Friday, November 09, 2007

Anti Gym seems kinda Anti-Woman

These sexy eyes can be yours too... if you admit you're a big fattie

Some days I read stuff and think to myself, 'No way... no way in hell is this real ... it just can't be.' But sadly this horrifying piece of news is real.

Feministing and Feministe have both reported on the Denver, Anti-gym. It's run by Michael Karolchyk who thinks that shaming fat people is something revolutionary and new. His trademark slogan is "No Chubbies." A message he proudly wears on his shirt.

On their website, a chubby is defined as:

Not necessarily someone with a spare tire or thunder thighs, it’s an unmotivated, lazy slob who wants to blame everybody else but themselves for their shortcomings.

This is the classic definition of chubby people. And I'm sure it can be true. Lord knows I make excuses when I want to avoid working out. BUT -- Can anyone out there tell me they never met a thin person who was lazy, unmotivated, slobby and blamed everyone else for their problems? Cause, I don't think this is just "a fat person thing."

The gym keeps on with the stereotypes by talking about the "bearded lady" (a close relative of a chubby) Funny though, the characteristics of the bearded lady sound remarkably like stereotypes about feminists. Which shouldn't be surprising given how unfriendly this gym seems to be towards women who don't conform to patriarchal standards of beauty and sexuality.

Top 10 Characteristics of Bearded Ladies:
1. Fat, really fat, but refuse to change their behavior because of a “thyroid problem”.
2. Usually emit a foul and unpleasant odor because they don’t wear antiperspirant.
3.Don’t wear make-up, because lipstick gets in their mustache and eye-shadow clashes with their red face.
4.Hate men. Actually hate women too, but won’t admit it.
5. Feel like they are victims of everything. Conveniently ignore their own laziness.
6. Watch Oprah while eating cupcakes alone in the dark.
7. Have not had sex with the lights on in their entire life.
8. Pretend in chat rooms to be 20-year-old cheerleaders with huge breasts.
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.

See! Classic feminist bashing: You're stinky! You hate men! You have a mustache! You're hysterical and constantly attacking people! You're unnatractive!


Another advertising catch prhase for the gym is "Have sex with the lights on." This seems to be the most accurate description of the gym's goals. It's very little to do with healthier living and more about becoming sexually attractive (emphasis on WOMEN being sexually attractive that is). For example, their commercial called "hottie" where a fat women is watching TV and jumps up to greet her man but is beat to the punch by this porned-out woman.

The husband happily makes out with the skinnier lady, grabs her ass and leaves the fat woman alone to cry. But luckily Michael Karolchyk busts out of the fridge (I can't make this shit up) to MOO at the woman, push her chocolate cake into her chest and say "you'll never get a hubby if you're chubby... Pathetic."

Charming-- totally like junior high.

If you can handle it-- here's another one where Mr. No-Chubbies physically assaults a fat woman with her own pie.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but weight loss should be about a healthier, less-impeded lifestyle. Self-confidence and better sex life are great perks too but a person's entire worth as a human being/sexual person should not be determined by a number on a scale.

This anti-gym message seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with health. It's just condemning fat women. Scaring them and shaming them with their message of fat = unhappy and alone whereas looking like a porn star = happiness and access to men. Well, access to the type of man who wants you for your body and will show affection by grabbing your ass.

Striving for weight loss and better health is just fine. It's great in fact. But this message is disgusting. Assaulting a "chubby" with her own cake? Pushing her down? Calling her pathetic? And making all thin "beautiful" women nothing more than objects of overt-sexuality and lust? WTF?

I'm no skinny-minnie, but yet I have a wonderful boyfriend, great friends, a great life. I don't watch Oprah alone in the dark and cry. So I guess being plus size isnt' the worst thing. I know that less weight can mean less health risk, but I certainly don't need humiliating messages hurled in my direction or in the direction of other "fat" women (who I happen to know and love and think are beautiful). So Anti-Gym can kiss my fat ass. And for the record, I don't have any "lights on/off" phobias so we can put that bullshit rumor to rest.

The anti-gym website has photos at the top of all their pages and interestingly enough-- they look like this:

When you look at these photos, do you think of exercise???

I'll say it again.... Any gym that promotes fitness by bullying *including throwing cupcakes and twinkies at people working out * is not a healthy atmosphere. Losing weight should be about what makes you happy and healthy, not about looking like these photos. Turning women into sexual objects seems to be the only "real" goal anti-gym offers. According to the website,

Anti-Gym is the only organization in history that does not discourage alcohol and marijuana use as part of a healthy lifestyle

Right cause alcohol and marijuana, not so bad for you. But a chubby woman? MOOOOO!


janna said...

I'll never look like those women, but I'm not obese either. I've figured out, over the course of my (admittedly short) adult life, that my carrying weight is about 140. I'm 5'4". This is my healthy weight, the weight that, no matter what I do, exercise or not, I tend to stay around. When I exercise more, like I do now (running about 3.5 miles every week day morning), I get in better shape, but my weight doesn't drop. I guess I'd always be a chubbie to this guy, no matter if I could beat his ass in running.

Adrienne said...

Wow. I'm just wondering who the target audience is here for this? Are the porntastic women going to go to this gym after seeing that commercial? Or is their demographic hormone riddled drill sergeant types who think that they are kings of the world? (Lights on or no, I'll bet their woman fakes it every time)

A few years ago I was reading the 'rules' handed out by the UNO Hockey Team to their rookie players for women to invite to their parties. At the top of the list was 'no fatties' That was pretty much the end of my burgeoning hockey interest. Men don't get it sometimes.

I'd like to see a group supporting women with hypothyriodism jump on this anti-gym asshole.

haley said...

"Men don't get it sometimes."

Overgeneralize much?

Tobes said...

*band head against wall*

it's kind of missing Adrienne's ENTIRE point... but whatever.

Tobes said...

Furthermore-- what did your comment have to do with the subject matter -- discussing the anti-gym??

I need to get more strict with comment guidelines I swear.

Anonymous said...

Wow how things have changed…

I once was an acquaintance of Michael Karolchyk. In fact I was the one he called for comfort when his first wife vacated their house leaving divorce papers on the table (NOTE: I actually believed he was wronged).

When his second wife called me asking if he was cheating on him – well - all I can say is no matter what he says/does he lives in a world no sane person would want.

Tune him out and the media wave Mr. Karolchyk rides will die.

BTW – I am a chubby… LOL

Anonymous said...

No gym is going to cater to everyone. People I've spoken to in the bodybuilding and powerlifting communities think that Planet Fitness is just a ludicrous. No grunting? No squat racks? A 'lunk' alarm? Am I a 'lunk' if I deadlift 225 and make some noise while doing it? (And I'm 5'0 and 130, it's heavy LOL). I'm not a lunk anymore than a heavier woman is a 'chubby.'
The point of these gyms is to cater to a certain group...older couples might want the tranquility and purple atmosphere of a Planet Fitness, while a 6'0 250 lifter might like the 'no pansies' attitude of the Anti-Gym.

Nicole said...

I'm a client at the Anti-Gym. Anyone out there who's thinking of trying it..DON'T!

I used to figure skate but after two back injuries in two separate car accidents I couldn't skate anymore. My health went downhill and my weight went up. I joined the Anti-Gym with the goal to loose weight and get back on the ice. I was well on way until Mr. Karolchyk fired 5 of his trainers within a month and took over training clients himself. I now have training sessions with Karolchyk himself. I have to email him exactly what I ate during the day every night. I'm supposed to get a reply with suggestions on how to eat better. What I get is a paragraph of meaningless insults and name calling. In sessions Mr. Karolchyk throws his cupcakes but that's not the worst. Anything he knows about your personal life he advertises, twists, and uses it to publicly humiliate you. Another punishment is being forced to squat over a toliet in the center of the gym and wave the Anti-Gym flag. Don't pause to get a drink during a grueling workout, he'll yell in your face and throw your water bottle across the room. Don't disagree with him on anything. Unfortunately, I made that mistake. He took me into a small office where we were alone. He started yelling, "YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME!" repeatedly and throwing his arms around. I thought he was gonna hit me so I ran out. Another mistake not to make is standing up for yourself. He insulted me in an email and I replied standing up for myself. I received 14 emails from him on a Sunday insulting not only my weight and fitness level but also my hair, make-up, personality, choice of friends, character, dress, maturity, and lack of a tan.

His gym is nothing more than a cult. After you pay he owns you. If you disagree and don't "bow" down he either insults and bullys you into submission or makes your life miserable till you just stop refund. When I say agree with him that's on EVERYTHING, not just diet and fitness, but also sex, drugs, religion, personality, etc. He attempts to make you believe you're there at his mercy and you have to live up to his expectations of becoming a sex object. It's funny you actually forget you paid him and HE should be living up to YOUR expectations.

Anonymous said...

Hey there, great blog! My name is Sophia Ayala Gettys and I actually AM the "fat woman" in the commercial... all I have to say about it is... It's a total play to get you shocked and to make the remarks that you have so perfectly to Michael's plan posted and given him even more exposure. I was treated like a queen on the shoots and learned quite a bit about Michael and less about the actual gym... I was suprised when a jounalist that was writing an article about him was telling me about the cupcake throwing and the GoGO dancers... it's insane! I think in retrospect it may have gone too far, but Michael knew women would be the ones to give the biggest reactions... he was targeting you... he could have made a men's add... but he know's that more women want to look hot for thier men... then men for thier women... it's all so crazy... I'm sorry if you're offended. Have a great life! And guess what! I have 2 kids and a HOT hubby of 5 years... so Michael's picture of the "chubby" losing out is not the case in my life:O) So chubbies do get HOT men too... don't believe everything you read or see!:O)

Tobes said...

I find this last comment highly suspect. Perhaps if I had an e-mail or something. Otherwise... I'm ultimately doubtful we're hearing from the real "chubby."

Either way, using hate speech to draw an audience isn't all that new and inventive. That guy is still a huge tool.

If this in fact, Ms. Chubby herself, do you not see something really sad in portraying a sad patehtic woman with no romantic prospects when in reality you know that to be total bullshit.

Not laying blame, really honest-to-god wondering....