New Nike Sports Bra Ad Empowers Plus Size Women—Kind Of

New Nike Sports Bra Ad Empowers Plus Size Women—Kind Of

Nike welcomes us to the "real" Sports Bra 101

Nike welcomes us to the "real" Sports Bra 101

Text: Gabriella Salkin

In a series of four posts, Nike Women has given its followers four fun facts about sports bras. Although the tips are good, that’s not what’s making these posts go viral.

The first Instagram, captioned “Welcome to Sports Bra 101” features (self-identified) curvy model and writer Paloma Elsesser wearing a Nike sports bra, while stretching her arms in the air. The decision to feature a "plus size" model has struck a chord with many of Nike Women’s followers; the post has generated almost 1,500 comments, while a typical Instagram by Nike Women gets around a few hundred comments, at most.

A few of the positive comments read: “Thank you so much, I finally started to accept my body, & you doing this helps me feel even better about myself @nikewomen,” and “@nikewomen Nice work. Finally. A changing landscape for my two little girls.”

What's particularly of note is that Nike makes no mention of these women being “plus size,” nor does it allude to their body types in any way; the posts are natural and real. The captions don’t suggest these women are any different than the fitness models the account regularly posts—a common mistake that many brands, and media outlets, make when featuring "real" women. 

There is a bit of a catch, however. Followers were quick to point out that Nike Women doesn't actually sell these items for plus-size women. "If Nike only made plus sizes, my life would be complete!" one user said, and "I wonder when we'll up the sizing?" another commenter asked. 

And, although the posts refer to the link in the bio, it actually directs the user to download the Nike+ Training App. Now, it only takes a moment to change the link in bio and companies do it so frequently, but if Nike Women wanted this to have a more monumental impact, it would've kept the link in bio—or at least altered the captions in the posts. 

On its website, Nike sells higher support bras up to a size 38E and lower support bras go up to an XL, which one user points out "is not plus." Nike Women has been responsive, though, commenting back with notes like "Your feedback doesn't go unheard," and "We're always looking to expand our product selection."

Although Nike Women is not selling plus products, nor is it actually featuring these women on its website, the Instagram posts do represent a large-scale company with far-reaching influence coming one step closer to recognizing women of all shapes and sizes everywhere.

Credits: Image courtesy of @NikeWomen

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