Equinox Fitness, a national gym chain headquartered in New York, is getting hit with criticism from members and the media for ads that feature models who are “skinny” instead of “healthy and fit.”
The ad campaign is Equinox’s second set by fashion photographer Terry Richardson. In the nine photos, scantily-clad male and female models pose in luxurious settings and clothing. The models lie on a couch, ride bicycles and pose with puppies — none of which take place in a gym.
“What do you get when you combine hot models, French bulldogs, cake and Terry Richardson? Our executive creative director spills secrets from the 2012 campaign shoot,” Equinox said on its Facebook page.
Equinox members peppered the company’s Facebook site this week with criticism, saying the models looked “anorexic.”
“Why did all of the models have a runway physique?” one member wrote. “Equinox is promoting health and fitness, so I would like to see some healthy and fit women on their ad campaigns who look like they could actually survive a typical Equinox class. Can we maybe see a little bit of muscle on the ladies next time around? The Nike ads are great examples of strong, fit women!” another member wrote.
Fashion news site Fashionista wrote, “The girls are undoubtedly thin-but they have some definition. The Equinox location in SoHo is overrun with models, and many of them I’ve seen there are a LOT thinner than these girls.”
Others saw something else in the ad campaign.
“The people who complain, have missed the point … and the message it is meant to convey,” an Equinox member wrote in defense of the ads. “The selection of models and the images show Equinox as high fashion, cool, hip and edgy.”
But another member had another idea: ”If people who actually belong to the gym have “missed the point” maybe the ads have missed the mark.”
Neither Terry Richardson nor Equinox returned requests from ABC News for comment.