When I go to one of my Class Pass classes, I am struck by how sometimes it looks like a studio of clones. All in Lululemon or Sweaty Betty, relatively similar body shapes, and almost all white. In an ever-more diverse world, I actually notice that I'm often the only non-white person in the room. Why is this?
Perhaps London is slightly different to other parts of the UK, where gym memberships and class subscriptions can be eye-wateringly expensive at around £100 pm. Marketing from gyms is understandably targeted towards their core markets - those with plenty of disposable income to spend £20+ on a single HIIT class. This excludes those we aren't earning the big bucks, which is statistically more likely to be someone of an ethnic minority.
However, more than this, for me it's the lack of role models in the fitness industry. It weirdly seems that this is actually more a problem for women than it is for men, with the covers of Men's Health being more racially diverse. Look on magazine covers or on Instagram, and you'll invariably see a slim, toned white woman. It's been proven time and time again, that we all need role models who look like us - and that's not restricted to just the workplace. One of the few exceptions at the highest levels of the fitness world, is Shona Vertue. She flies the flag proudly and fabulously for all of us that find confidence in someone that looks a little more like us.
A group successfully driving inclusivity in London is Fly Girl Collective. The diversity of their instructors and in-house staff has a direct correlation with the diversity of their client base. There are significantly more black and Asian class-goers than your average class - because there's a level of confidence and inspiration that comes from seeing someone who looks like you running or class and attending the same class alongside you.
There's no doubt that the wellness & fitness industry is booming, with double-digit growth year-on-year. However, growth will be stifled unless inclusion of men & women of all sizes, races and ages are welcomed and included.