Well-known fitness coach and Vogue contributor Russell Bateman is under fire this week after videos on his Instagram show his fitness group Skinny Bitch Collective using tribal Maasai people as props for a work out video. It is truly a disgrace as these affluent white women do lunges and squats around tribal women like they are mannequins. It is hard to image that neither Bateman nor his SBC women saw the scene as troubling and jarring.
Bateman quickly took down the posting but it was too late. It was all over the Internet with a rising condemnation for him, his company, and the Skinny Bitch Collective.
The company later wrote that it was actually “to promote a cross-cultural exchange through shared experiences and to highlight the beauty of Kenya and it’s indigenous peoples.” Shared experiences by using Maasai women as props?
The company said that it now understands that it “lacked appropriate cultural sensitivity by reinforcing colonial era depictions of people of colour.” It was actually not the racial element for some of us as much as the us of an indigenous and poor people as virtual decorations. The racial element then took a horrific idea and made it even more grotesque.
What I cannot get around is who are these people? Who would crab-walk around tribal people and lack total self-awareness or perspective? I guess people who call themself the Skinny Bitch collective.
You can watch part of the video:here