A little rant about gender stereotyping

Nike Training Club’s sexist new Facebook branding has annoyed me so much I’m going for a run to calm down. Maybe that’s the idea. I mean kittens?! F**king kittens?!

Evil kitten

Evil kitten


The page appears to have undergone a massive girl-over, and I’m not sure if it’s some kind of patronising joke or not. It’s nearly April 1 right?!

It pains me to say this, it really does but Nike, what have you done? Usually I’m a massive fan of Nike Training Club – the Nike community that offers free hardcore fitness classes, a great app with sports stars like Serena Williams leading you through workouts, and events such as the 5k Nike Flyknit run we went to the other week (they had glow sticks and beatboxers in smoke-filled underground tunnels!).


Because nothing says workout like roses

Because nothing says tough workout like roses


NTC have always been great at getting people moving in fun, innovative and edgy ways and their branding has usually been pretty spot on. But in the last few days, something strange has been occurring. The NTC Facebook page has faded from neon to pastel, from urban to suburban. It appears to have undergone a massive girl-over, and I’m not sure if it’s some kind of patronising joke or not. It’s nearly April 1 right?!


Nike Traning Club

The  logo is fine, the ‘Book a Class’ and ‘Ask a Trainer’ pages on their Facebook page are untouched. Phew. But the wall, the wall!

Take a closer look at the pictures on the cover photo. A kitten, shopping bags, a vintage push bike with a wicker basket, roses – antique pink, of course – a ‘Sale’ sign, and, over in the corner, is that a make-up laden dressing table I spy?

Much as we like shopping…

Much as we like shopping…

It’s like the Pinterest board of someone obsessed with sanitary product commercials. Someone who walks on the treadmill, glows instead of sweats and would soil their matching bra and pants set if they encountered an actual beatboxer in an actual tunnel.

The image though, I can live with. You only notice its sexist implications if you look closely, and you’re probably too busy crafting the jam on your crumpet into a heart-shape for that. It was Sunday’s Facebook status that really got my gingham-ribboned goat.

‘Flat whites and chit chats. Hot baths and gossip mags. What do you do after a tough workout?’

Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 17.48.14


I’ll tell you what I don’t do after a tough workout Nike, I don’t speak in marketing man’s idea of ‘girl talk’. Nor do I lie down, fully made up, on a bed of leaves in a forest for a snooze.

As a friend of mine pointed out, it’s all very Women Laughing Alone with Salad (you need to check this out).

We much prefer it when you post things like the below Nike. Real girls sweating and getting mucky, not images filched from Instagram and Pinterest and enhanced with a dusky pink filter.

NTCScreen shot 2013-03-18 at 17.59.47Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 17.58.37Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 17.57.16

Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 18.50.52Screen shot 2013-03-18 at 19.25.09

One of the reasons we loved Nike to start with is the fact that they stepped away from the pastels and the diamante and brought kick-ass women’s workout kit to the masses. So please, f**k the fluff and bring back the fierce!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go bake some cupcakes and eat them by a waterfall. xXx


So, what do you think? Do you find this branding offensive or am I overreacting? Let us know in the comments section below or email charlotte@lungesandlycra.co.uk


  • Alex says:

    I totally agree! The only thing I have that’s pink during a workout is my face! All I want to do after a workout is stretch and collapse in a heap not gossip (although caffeine does normally help!) I obviously should care less about motivation and strength and more about my appearance! Go team lunges and lycra! x

  • laura says:

    Sadly Nike appears to have asked the US team to create the content and imagery – surely this language isn’t from someone in the UK?!

    Flat whites and chit chats?! If that’s the female culture of running then I’m about to default to a men’s rugby team…it’s the most patronising thing i’ve ever seen and is a million miles away from the inspiring shots of real women training.

    Unfortuately it makes it look like none of the team run, understands the culture of running or what makes us tick – not a good result for a running brand.

  • JenJ says:

    Oh my, this has caused quite a sh*&-storm already, ey?! Personally, I have A LOT of pink workout gear. I like it. It suits me. And if I’m gonna get all hot and sweaty, I wanna feel like for 2.2 seconds before the sweat starts flowing, I had a tiny chance of looking cute. Why not? Working out is so much part of my life (I do three washes of workout gear for every one of my ‘regular’ clothes washes) that I don’t mind it being pink and cute and comfortable and functional all at once. But I get your anger at the patronizing BS. No, I don’t do chit chat and drink flat whites. Not after working out. Not ever. I stuff my face with pizza, lounge on the couch in my sweats and compression socks and watch the Biggest Loser after a long run. Then again, that might just not make for the most appealing FB status?!
    Whichever way you look at it, this is definitely a case of seriously not getting your audience!

    • lungesandlycra says:

      Hear, hear. Nowt wrong with pink, nice kit or even gossip mags come to that, but you don’t need to use them to entice us to do fitness. We love it anyway. Sure it must just be a blip, Nike usually get this stuff spot on. Then again, i don’t really like cats. Maybe therein lies the problem

  • Beki says:

    Almost as bad as the “pink it and shrink it” phenomenon for any kind of tech for women- incl Garmins! Check out this article on the latest women’s tablet: http://marketingblogged.marketingmagazine.co.uk/2013/03/13/dont-pink-it-shrink-it/ Euch! I too love NTC and also “flat whites and chit chats” but not in such a patronising way… 🙂

  • Becs says:

    You inspired me to write this: http://thestyledynamo.com/2013/03/19/that-nike-training-club-post-on-facebook/ – I was also thinking it could be a marketing ploy but who knows!

Leave a Reply