Personal trainer and former reality TV star Daniel Holmes has refused to apologize after his recent comments about a plus-sized mannequin sparked outrage.
The 32-year-old came under intense public scrutiny off-screen when he posted an image of a plus-size mannequin in workout gear on his Instagram story.
“Those that say this is empowering are completely delusional. It’s promoting early death. There’s no power in that,” wrote Holmes in the story caption.
The former reality star, known for his appearance in the 2022 season of “Married at First Sight,” posted again on December 5, explaining the meaning of his comment in the wake of the public backlash. He claimed that his post was not about what overweight people wear to the gym but how corporate entities, such as Nike, monetize obesity.
Nike debuted plus-size mannequins at its flagship Niketown London store in June 2019 as part of its “inclusion” efforts. The women’s floor featured a plus-size mannequin in the front dressed in a black sports bra and leggings. It was the same mannequin Holmes shared in his original story.
Holmes allegedly received a multitude of comments and direct messages denouncing him. Comments on a subsequent post of his featured mixed reactions. Some people agreed with him, while others accused him of body shaming. Some brought up his alleged use of steroids.
“Your comments are so simple and illogical. You need to educate yourself on what it means to be inclusive,” wrote one online commenter.
“I’m overweight and have lost and I’m still losing weight and you are absolutely right. The issue here is that we can’t say anything without offending someone. It’s not a good thing to be extremely fat. It’s unhealthy, it’s unnatural and it’s extremely uncomfortable,” wrote another.
Obesity is a very serious problem in the United States, as nearly half the population has developed the condition, which has been linked to diabetes, dementia, osteoarthritis, and cardiovascular disease.
Troubling statistics published by the CDC show that Americans are not doing enough to maintain the healthy lifestyles necessary to avoid putting on dangerous excess weight. Many states, including Texas, are seeing increases in both adult and childhood obesity.
Holmes did not offer an apology for his comments and claimed that his critics took his words out of context.
“The problem is when brands start to cater to this unhealthy body type,” said Holmes in the post. “My concern is where does that lead,” he continued.
Similar sentiments were evoked by the release of the Disney+ animated short “Reflect,” which featured the media company’s first plus-size heroine, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
Holmes edited his post on December 7, explaining that he had been “flamed” by a minority group and needed to get better at voicing his concerns.
“With that said I am aware I need to try a bit better with articulating my words to ensure the point I’m trying to make gets across,” said Holmes.