A Sunshine Coast, Australia, gym has been forced to apologize after hundreds of people shared their disgust over a public message board, shared by staff on the side of the street, which allegedly fat shames people into joining up.
Anytime Fitness Kawana is copping a lot of heat over a humorous sign staff placed outside that read: “Are you fat and ugly? Just be ugly.”
The gym franchise’s misguided attempt at humor has left a lot of noses out of joint, as people claim the messaging fat shames overweight locals into becoming members.
It now seems the manager of the Kawana gym has had a talking to, after the news of the sign broke early this morning.
A spokeswoman for Anytime Fitness told news.com.au the company understood the offense their sign may have caused members of the community.
“We understand and sincerely apologize for any offense taken from the sign posted outside one of our clubs,” the spokeswoman said.
“The value of being an inclusive, accepting gym where our members feel comfortable and confident when they walk through our doors is at the heart of our business model.”
According to the spokeswoman, the gym does not “endorse nor tolerate any type of body shaming.”
“We have spoken with the club manager who immediately removed the sign and was extremely apologetic for any distress caused,” the spokeswoman said.
It comes after Debbie Peut told the Sunshine Coast Daily she was “horrified beyond explanation” when she saw the sign.
“How sad that the word fat continues to be used as an insult and a way to define people,” Peut told the newspaper.
“Why is humiliating people funny?”
Many people agreed with her, arguing the sign was “savage” and “horrible.”
Another woman disagreed with the sign’s warning, saying: “Nope, I’m fat and gorgeous, and I’ll stay both, thanks.”
“This is horrible,” someone else added.
The gym officially opened in May last year and has been trying to boost membership numbers.