About the ‘Models’ in YOGABODY Advertisements
Here are just a sample of the dozens of messages we receive weekly:
Q: “Why don’t you feature real customers, real yoga students, and real teachers in your ads and on social media?”
My response: We do. All the yoga people you see featured in our accounts are either customers, students, or teachers. We don’t hire fitness models.
Q: “Why is everyone in your advertisements Asian? Why don’t you include more Americans?”
My response: I lived in Thailand for 5 years and produced courses there for 14 years. We had a disproportioned number of Asian students, teachers, and staff—as you might expect.
Q: “Why are the women in your ads all young, beautiful and white?”
My response: Our most popular advertisements to-date feature middle-aged, black, brown, and Asian teachers and students. We have lots of white students too, of course, we over-represent underrepresented groups consistently—and always have.
Q: “Why are some of the women in your social media accounts and ads wearing so little clothing?”
My response: I assume they dress how they dress because they like it. We don’t tell them what to wear. When I first started teaching, I taught in Thailand and Hong Kong. It was hot and humid almost every day, so I taught in small, tight shorts and a tank top. It was completely appropriate for the job, but my colleagues mocked me constantly, and in YouTube videos I was trolled for years. Why? I have no idea. I’m an average looking guy, physically unremarkable, and I was wearing some shorts that some people felt were too small. Somehow, any “body” is controversial online. Either you’re too pretty or not pretty enough. You’re dressed badly or not enough. People can wear whatever they want.
Q: “Why don’t you tell your teachers and students to cover up and dress in less-revealing clothing?”
My answer: I could give a long explanation and attempt to be diplomatic, but I’ll instead just keep it simple: I’m not going to tell a woman what to wear.
Q: “Why don’t you ever featured people of color?”
My answer: We do. All the time. We have a very diverse customer base and team.
Q: “Why don’t you ever featured plus-sized people?”
My response: We do. All the time. And we also get trolls and body-shaming comments about those images too. Online, it’s impossible to avoid.
Here are some facts you might not know about YOGABODY:
- Our team has been 70-80% female since we started in 2007
- We are always trying to add more men to the team, but the industry is female dominated
- Our headquarters is in Barcelona, Spain
- Our team currently comes from Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Spain, Lithuania, England, The Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, USA and Chile
- Everyone who appears on our websites, social media, or paid ads are real students and teachers—we don’t hire fitness models
- Unless we have a clothing sponsor donating for a photoshoot, we don’t tell teachers what to wear—they wear whatever they like
- Nearly every image we feature online gets trolled with body-shaming comments, regardless of what age, apparel, gender, or ethnicity—welcome to the internet
If you’ve read this far, I know you’re not a troll, you must be genuinely interested, so I thank you for your interest and concern. I’ll continue to update this page if things change internally, so you can see who we are and what we believe in as an organization.
– Lucas Rockwood