In a Washington Post piece titled “Is your spin class too young, too thin and too white?” Ramanathan made the case that there simply isn’t enough diversity in spin classes, which, for those who are unaware, refers to indoor cycling that takes place on stationary bikes.
“Sweat through a class in one of these studios and it’s very possible that you’ll see it, too: many, many lithe young white bodies and very few people of color. Or older or heavier exercisers,” Ramanathan wrote in her column. Yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley, who was interviewed as a part of Ramanathan’s opinion piece, argued, “The messaging is essentially: You’re allowed in this space if you are white, slender, able-bodied and less than 45, cis-gender and heterosexual. And if you’re not, then you’re not welcome.” In other words, you have to be slender, white, straight and identify as either a male or a female to be welcome in spin classes – does that make any sense?
Another individual that was interviewed was a non-white spin class attendee by the name of Christina Rice, who was eager to explain just how horrified she was upon learning that her hot yoga teacher training course consisted of mostly whites. “I did bond with some of the other students,” Rice said. “But I did feel very isolated at times. There were no teachers of color. I didn’t have another woman who looked like me, who understood my struggles, my insecurities.”
Later on in her piece, Lavanya Ramanathan quoted Todd Miller of George Washington University’s Weight Management and Human Performance Laboratory, who argued that spin classes often make overweight people feel uncomfortable, unwelcome and out of place. Evidently, Todd Miller didn’t stop to consider the fact that overweight people might want to stay away from spin classes because they can’t physically keep up. Why is this not a rational explanation? (Related: Oregon University is now pushing a course on “fat studies,” which claims that “weightism” is the new civil rights battleground.)
On a side note, this argument about overweight people feeling unwelcome was taken to the extreme late last year when two professors at Oregon State University – Professor Vicki Ebbeck and graduate teaching assistant Shannon Austin – argued that fitness instructors are guilty of fat oppression and accused gym coaches of perpetuating “anti-fat bias.” This goes to show that as absurd as Todd Miller’s argument is, this sort of victimization of overweight people is nothing new. (Related: Social justice has reached a whole new level of stupid as fitness coaches are now being condemned for perpetuating “fat oppression.”)
Regarding Ramanathan’s assertion that there are too many white people in spin classes, there are a few points to make. First and foremost, you’ll notice that the assertion that spin classes mainly consist of white people is an idea that came straight from Ramanathan’s head; it’s not rooted in fact and there aren’t any credible statistics to back it up. Perhaps Ramanathan’s argument was based on what she has personally observed in her own community, but even so, that doesn’t make it a concrete fact that most spin classes are predominantly white.
Second, even if Ramanathan was correct and most spin classes across the country are predominantly white, so what? Why does it matter if there aren’t as many African-Americans as there are whites? Since yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley brought up the idea that most people who take spin classes are cis-gender and heterosexual, the same question applies: Even if this is true (which it may very well not be), why does it matter? It’s not like these gyms and fitness studios hang up signs that say, “no blacks, gays, transgenders, or overweight people allowed.” They’re welcome just like everyone else is – if they choose not to participate, then that’s their business.
Read LeftCult.com for more coverage of the mass mental illness of the political Left.