This Activewear Brand Stood by the Plus-Size Model Who Repped Its Gear After She Was Taunted by Trolls


academy/Instagram

Far too often, we associate "fitness" and being "fit" with one body type: someone who is lean and muscular and looks like she just ran off a Gatorade ad. Anna O'Brien, aka @glitterandlazers on Instagram, proves that notion to be a complete farce, and is actually a badass plus-size model for fitness brand Academy Sports and Outdoors. 

  • O'Brien recently took over Academy's Instagram account with uplifting quotes and super inspiring images.

    Academy had reached out to O'Brien to be a model for the launch of its BCG Plus Line, O'Brien tells CafeMom. She checked out its store and was impressed by its inclusivity, seeing that it had plus-size clothing in the front of the stores (not buried in the back) and even plus-size mannequins. She happily agreed.

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  • Being involved in the activewear campaign was a "surreal experience," O'Brien tells CafeMom, and she thinks her campaign is a "big deal" for women of all sizes.

    "In today's world people are conditioned to believe if you are active, you are thin," she continues. "That is simply not true and I am living proof of that. I hope that sharing my journey (along with other plus-size athletes) will help begin to shift what assumptions people make about what an active body should look like."

  • Some trolls came out of the woodwork to reinforce this very stereotype.

    "Lol. She needs more movement and less eating," another person commented.

    Their comments simply prove that there's a definite need for activewear brands to be more inclusive in their ads, and to have more models like O'Brien.

  • Academy was not about to let the comments fly, and took the time to reply to each troll.

    "We're proud to carry a wide variety of sizes for women," Academy wrote in another Instagram comment. 

    Snaps for Academy!

  • But most people loved O'Brien's photo shoot, loving Academy for reminding everyone that being fit doesn't look one way.

    "Yay!!! About time!!!" another person wrote. "I am a plus-sized girl who struggles to find appropriate workout clothes. Thank you!"

  • O'Brien hopes that her shoot continues to break down the image of a "fit person," and empower people who feel discouraged by that image.

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    "I hope audiences realize that an active lifestyle can be possible and enjoyable for everyone," she tells CafeMom. "It means that someday -- heck, it's probably happened already multiple times -- a woman will walk into their store and leave feeling empowered. That she's not alone. That she is just as welcome in the gym, on the track, or wherever else she chooses to move."

    We're behind you on that, O'Brien!

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