Fat C*n’t? Actually Fat Can

by 82

Fat Lad At The Back has launched a controversial campaign to draw attention to body bias present in the cycling and fitness industry.

Fat Lad At The Back is known for its plus-size cycle apparel. Its ‘brand mission’ is to “create a space for more inclusive cycling communities”.

The brand’s recent campaign challenges the notion that if you are fat, then you can’t ride a bike, can’t be fit and can’t take part in sports generally.

The apparent use of the C-word in the campaign will no doubt draw some controversy. The belief that there’s no such thing as ‘bad’ publicity holds sway here.

Lynn Bye, Co-founder of Fat Lad At The Back: “It’s a divisive campaign but we need to draw attention to what’s really happening to larger cyclists and people taking exercise. The abuse that is being hurled at larger people is the thing that we should be getting offended by, not a marketing campaign with a clever use of the English language.

“Fat people are still fair game and society accepts that using fat as an insult is OK and ignores the profoundly negative effects that this can have on peoples mental health.”

In February this year, the models in Fat Lad At The Back adverts on social media were subject to derogatory comments. This type of abuse is common on the brand’s online content with regular comments about “wide loads”, hippo emojis and the models looking “disgusting or unsightly in tight cycle wear” (Fat Lad At The Back’s words).

Fat Lad At The Back model Lisa Townsend has had a lot of abuse. Lisa has written wrote: “Whilst this was an upsetting time for me, the situation allowed me to connect with a huge community of amazing women who stood by my side in solidarity and support to say a big ‘Hell NO!’ to the trolls. It was emotional to hear how every one of us had a similar experience and that this was just expected when you are a curvier lady on a bike.”

This abuse cuts deeply and is often a huge barrier for larger people to get in to cycling. The ‘Fat C*nt’ advertising campaign is “Fat Lad At The Back’s way of fighting back”.

Lynn: “To us, fat has never been a negative word – it’s just another adjective. People are fat and society needs to stop making that into the only thing they see. Your body doesn’t define you. We want people to start talking about this so that we can educate society and teach them to respect and accept people of all sizes.”

Fat Lad At The Back summarises: “You might see Fat Can’t, but it’s #actuallyfatcan”

While you’re here…

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.


  • This topic has 82 replies, 44 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by ton.
Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 82 total)
  • Fat C*n’t? Actually Fat Can
  • pjay
    Free Member

    We should be encouraging everyone.

    We had this a while back – https://singletrackworld.com/2021/03/shimano-all-bodies-on-bikes/

    This is worth a look too – https://www.salsacycles.com/salsa/sponsored-riders/mirna-valerio Mirna is a Salsa sponsored rider.

    ScotRoutes
    Full Member

    Reported for swear filter evasion 😉

    longdog
    Free Member

    Haha! Just what I was thinking scotroutes 🤣

    Adam
    Full Member

    Fat C*n’t

    Oi, I resemble that remark!! Good on em

    Sam Forward
    Full Member

    As a large chap myself ive always quite enjoyed a good heckle as you get to watch they’re sh*rt eating grins disappear as I sail passed 100 miles later eating sh*rt and grinning.

    Or telling the enduro bro leaning against his transporter in the trail centre car park that you rode further in a single race than they did all last year.

    Eddiebaby
    Full Member

    The article starts with a mention of it being in the cycling and fitness industry.
    Can we have examples of these businesses so we can avoid their products?

    ScotRoutes
    Full Member

    Larger clothing should cost more on account of the extra resources used, otherwise I’m subsiding it.

    33tango
    Free Member

    Normalising obesity isn’t great. However, supporting people who want to get to a healthier weight should be applauded.

    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    Er… are we talking about a campaign to challenge negative assumptions about overweight people in sport being launched by a company called ‘Fat Lad At The Back’?

    bruneep
    Full Member

    Reported for swear filter evasion

    yet one of my posts was deleted as it the letters BJ in it.

    Double standards

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    yet one of my posts was deleted as it the letters BJ in it.

    Well he really is a can’t.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Er… are we talking about a campaign to challenge negative assumptions about overweight people in sport being launched by a company called ‘Fat Lad At The Back’?

    Didn’t their slogan used to be “dead last isn’t the looser”. I’.e. still better to be participating in a sportive, than put off that nothing Castelli makes fits.

    BigBlackShed
    Full Member

    ScotRoutes
    Full Member

    Larger clothing should cost more on account of the extra resources used, otherwise I’m subsiding it.

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    James
    Full Member

    Very good campaign.

    James
    Full Member

    Normalising obesity isn’t great.

    Flipside – being (or the assumed aspiration to be) athletic/slim has been normalised in advertising and ‘sport’ for a long time and is responsible for eating disorders and body image issues that are harder to see and not great for general health either.

    PrinceJohn
    Full Member

    Cycle clothing companies need to sort out their sizing – my partner had a size L women’s & it was smaller than my size S when laid on top of it.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    campaign to draw attention to body bias present in the cycling and fitness industry

    I wonder if they’ll ever promote fat folk to take up diving. Those Commonwealth Games divers didn’t have an ounce of fat on em, makes it seem a really non-inclusive sport.

    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    I wonder if they’ll ever promote fat folk to take up diving. Those Commonwealth Games divers didn’t have an ounce of fat on em, makes it seem a really non-inclusive sport.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    Larger clothing should cost more on account of the extra resources used, otherwise I’m subsiding it.

    Shh or we’ll eat you!

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Shh or we’ll eat you!

    Not enough fat, be dry and tough by the time they’re cooked through. Probably fairly bitter too.

    fat-boy-fat
    Full Member

    As a card carrying fat lad who is quite often at the back, I just don’t care what folk think. I’ll bimble my way round on my bike like I’ve been doing in mtb for 35 years.

    Charlie Hobbs
    Full Member

    Advertising is odd.. in general.
    In this story we see a few posters, and an E bill board. I wonder if this is an actual outdoor ad campaign… has anyone actually seen the ads in the real world? Or is it just two sites, posters up until pasted over the next day… but you have your shots, and that is the modern media digital ad campaign.

    Nice creative…. is it available as a jersey? Should be.

    ScotRoutes
    Full Member

    Shh or we’ll eat you!

    You’d have to catch me first!

    bigdean
    Full Member

    Are we not heading towards normalising unhealthy body types?*

    Cycling close for people who aren’t racing snakes would be welcome though.

    *Said as an over weight knacker who would currently struggle on a sportive.

    Kayak23
    Full Member

    Are we not heading towards normalising unhealthy body types?*

    I was listening to ‘Bad People’ podcast the other day and one of the presenters, comedian Sophie Hagen said that she wanted to be called fat, instead of obese or overweight.

    Calling someone obese, medicalises her body shape, and overweight suggests that there is an ideal weight, which she didn’t agree with.

    scuttler
    Full Member

    Big lad at Ard Rock both competing and sending it all ways on the air bag. Not sure who it was but my mate had seen him on social media and I expect he has quite a following.

    Steve
    Full Member

    I’m a former brand ambassador for FLAB, been interesting to see the reaction to the ad in the last few weeks.

    I’m not convinced it needed the * it would have worked with the letter a left in. They like to think they are edgy, sometimes it doesn’t work for me, but they’ve built a decent business from it.

    Fwiw, their very weird baggies are the best I’ve tried.

    cheers_drive
    Full Member

    that big lad is Lando Steezy IIRC

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    You’d have to catch me first!

    Fat doesn’t mean unfit. My stamina is really good whippet, hope your endurance is good!

    malv173
    Free Member

    @scuttler definitely Lando Steezy. He’s very talented.

    kerley
    Free Member

    Fat doesn’t mean unfit.

    It also doesn’t mean healthy, stamina doesn’t help those blocked up arteries, high blood pressure and all sorts of other negative effects of being fat for years.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    It also doesn’t mean healthy, stamina doesn’t help those blocked up arteries, high blood pressure and all sorts of other negative effects of being fat for years.

    Was that your “Mike drop moment”?
    If so you’ve sort of helped make FLAB’s point for them.

    That it’s still seen as OK by some to shame and take the piss out of overweight people and that lots of promotional materials for cycling tend towards certain body types (both make and female) is a problem.
    Reinforcing any ideas about who should and shouldn’t get to take part in cycling just makes the sport/pastime/hobby worse overall.

    Some metabolically blessed people could do with learning a bit of humility and empathy…

    Kayak23
    Full Member

    Lando Steezy is rad.

    Instagram link

    I’m not convinced it needed the * it would have worked with the letter a left in.

    Don’t know. The implication, apart from the obvious double-take if it’s the ‘C-word’ being used is that ‘can’t’ is a dirty/offensive word. Being starred out tells you that implication imho.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Larger clothing should cost more on account of the extra resources used, otherwise I’m subsiding it.

    I think race teams should have more fat riders. I made the case to one of the MTB teams when I used to ‘race’ – it’s about your advertisers getting their logos seen, and if they sponsored me they could make them 20% bigger or include 20% more on their jerseys, plus there’s little likelihood of the logos appearing out of focus as I ‘sped’ past.

    nicko74
    Full Member

    I was listening to ‘Bad People’ podcast the other day and one of the presenters, comedian Sophie Hagen said that she wanted to be called fat, instead of obese or overweight.

    Calling someone obese, medicalises her body shape, and overweight suggests that there is an ideal weight, which she didn’t agree with.

    Medically it’s pretty clear cut – there is an ideal weight and “I don’t agree with it” is like “I don’t agree that a car going 70 would hurt if it hit me” – your opinion isn’t relevant.

    In the real world though there’s probably a sliding scale. Many of us could afford to lose a few pounds/ few cms of jiggly bits, and it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of it occasionally. But obesity is a medical issue relating to being grossly overweight, that generally comes after “fat” and “overweight”, and shouldn’t be normalised, accepted or swerved because someone doesn’t “agree” with it.
    It may not always be the obese person’s fault directly, but it’s their fault more than it’s anyone else’s – and the first step is acknowledging the condition and trying to do something about it! So back to the OP, the campaign’s a good one as long as it keeps encouraging people to keep trying, and keep exercising – more like this!

    Martinhuutch
    Full Member

    The more we normalise the idea that fat people look good on bikes, or taking part in any form of exercise, the more of a virtuous cycle we encourage. Exercise more, get more endorphin, feel better either physically or mentally, maybe be motivated to eat better, exercise more etc.

    Doesn’t matter if you are still overweight, more activity is a positive end goal in itself.

    It’s about encouragement rather than shame.

    kerley
    Free Member

    That it’s still seen as OK by some to shame and take the piss out of overweight people a

    And how exactly have I done that? Being overweight is typically not healthy for many reasons which is what I pointed out in response to poster saying they have great stamina so all is fine.
    No shaming or piss taking was done so I am not part of the problem even if you want me to be so stop your ranting please.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Rugby Union is about the only properly inclusive sport that I know of and yet still you get people, I’ve particularly noticed it on this forum, taking the piss out of how fat players are. Stuff that would never be said by coaches and team managers.
    So join in chubbers, but just know there will be people mocking and sneering behind your back.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Fat Lad At The Back has launched a controversial campaign

    Did they tell you it was controversial or did you decide that yourself?

    They obviously went to the FCUK school of tiresomely “edgy” marketing.

    Edit to say the swear filter picks up the initialisation for French Connection UK. So my statement above makes sense.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    And how exactly have I done that?

    It also doesn’t mean healthy, stamina doesn’t help those blocked up arteries, high blood pressure and all sorts of other negative effects of being fat for years.

    Apparently overwirght people love having the negative health effects of their weight explained to them as if they were completely unaware.
    I suppose we live in a ‘post Clarkson’ age of the oaf, where spiteful fucks can bless us all with their insights and ignore the effect their own witterings have on people.

    The thing is most overweight people didn’t actively choose to be overweight, a mixture of factors can land them in the situation of having a higher than ideal BMI and limited time/resources to address it. Repeatedly telling them where they’re going wrong isn’t as helpful as you seem to think… Is “Fatsplaining” a term? it probably should be…

    Do you talk like that to any overweight people you encounter in real life?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 82 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.