The 31-year-old former bodybuilder posted an Instagram Story on Sunday of a plus-size mannequin modelling Nike activewear alongside the caption: “Those that say this is empowering are completely delusional. It’s promoting early death. There’s no power in that.”
After copping backlash in his Instagram DMs, Daniel then uploaded a lengthy video doubling down on his controversial viewpoint.
“I've done a bit of a scan through of all the crazy DMs and got a bit of an overview of what people are saying, and the number one thing that people are saying is, ‘Well, what are overweight people meant to wear in the gym if they can't promote overweight activewear?’,” he began.
“Hey, clothes? You know what I mean? Like, it's just a gym, it's just a bunch of metal objects sitting around and stuff and you just pick them up and stuff like that. Like, you don't necessarily need to wear specific branded clothing to do that.”
The reality TV star went on to say that the main issue for him is the fact that brands are catering “to this unhealthy body type”.
“My concern is where does that lead? Where does promoting unhealthy body types lead?” he continued.
“And look, I'll start with compassion like I understand it is quite difficult to lose weight. The steps in order to do it are relatively simple but to execute it is pretty difficult. It takes a lot of consistency, discipline, and sticking to the fundamentals. But I worked in the fitness industry for close to 10 years. This isn’t a new subject to me, this isn't a new conversation to me.
“Like I said, my issue is when brands start to sell a product and promote a product that caters to an unhealthy body type - fat people, overweight people, whatever you want to call it - that’s where the issue arises because it goes, what’s next? Like, where does this lead? How far do we take this promotion of an unhealthy body type?”
Daniel ended his video attempting to explain his viewpoint even further because he thinks “people are uneducated on this subject” and that’s why he believes he caused so much offence.
“There are two things that need to be taken into consideration,” he said. “There are two types of body fat. There's subcutaneous body fat, which is the fat that builds up under the skin. It's the fat that if you look at somebody and go, ‘Oh, that person is overweight’, it’s because you can see subcutaneous body fat built up under their skin.
“There's another type of fat called visceral body fat. That’s the fat that builds up internally, it wraps around your organs and it’s extremely dangerous. Being overweight is extremely dangerous, right? It increases your risk of diabetes through the roof, it’s bad for your joints and your bones, and you’re increasing heart disease, stroke, and depression.
“There are an immense amount of health concerns related to being overweight. And when we have brands that essentially promote this idea to make money, yes, I have an issue with that.
Daniel’s followers were clearly divided by the video, with some people agreeing with his opinion and saying he “speaks the truth” and others calling the viewpoint “disgusting”, “judgemental” and “ignorant”.
“I call bulls**t,” one person wrote. “This argument is so ridiculously flawed and I'm surprised someone with experience in the fitness industry can't see that.”
“I hate body shaming, everyone has a different story,” another added, followed by a third who said, “Body shape does not determine someone’s health”.
“Everyone is allowed to feel good and have support no matter their size,” someone else replied. “It’s small-minded people like yourself that create this issue by giving your two cents when it’s not needed.”
“This is why bigger girls don’t go to the gym cause of remarks like what you say,” another remarked. “Everyone should be able to wear what they want and if it’s too big for you then just leave it be.”
“Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to stop looking at overweight people from a judgemental point of view and think I don’t know their experience!” a different user shared. “This whole thing shows a lack of life experience. So just don’t post it, it’s pointless.”
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