No weigh! Gym club uses bus stop scale to show everyone your weight!

dutchgymadThat's what I said when I read this story about an ad campaign for a fitness club at a bus stop in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. A gym chain called Fitness First has rigged the bus shelter so that, when you sit down on the bench, a huge poster flashes your weight.

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Ummmm, excuse me?!? I know women who won't even step on a doctor's scale without taking off all their jewelery first, so I can't imagine this is an incredibly popular ad with commuters, especially since the message here is "this is what you weigh... better join a gym!" It seems to be capitalizing on people's body shame... and who wants to workout at a place with that attitude?

I say: the only people who should be ashamed here are the marketing "geniuses" behind this ad campaign! No one should aim to increase their membership by making others feel bad about their weight. I had so much fun reporting and writing this article in our February issue, because, even though I interviewed half a dozen different researchers, the message was clear: being a gym rat won't make you healthier if you aren't embracing your shape. Women who feel good about their bodies are less likely to stress eat or feel sick and more likely to go to the doctor, spot skin cancer early and have the confidence to insist that their partner use condoms.

Here' s how 5 SELF readers made peace with their body!

What do you think? Are you as appaled by this campaign as I am, or would you be happy to step right up (or rather, sit right down...) to this weigh in? --Merritt Watts