The Skinny Bitch Collective – The problematic fitness club Victoria’s Secret Angels love
Are you unfamiliar with The Skinny Bitch Collective? Consider yourself blessed. This invite-only and self-proclaimed ‘Global phenomenon’ (we are unsure if it can be global if its invite only, but we will let that slide for now), in the fitness industry, founded by Russell Bateman is kind of like a sexual sorority for VS models and its wannabes but it’s recently come into fire for being well… its own gross self.
*At this time SBC has closed down its site and owner Russell Bateman has disappeared off social media without comment*
SBC is meant to be a revolution in the way women workout. Its more primal, ‘barbaric’ one journalist from Cosmo stated. But really… it appears that those words are just bullshit cover ups to sexualise a workout. “I don’t really have patience to go around and praise everyone or critique,” he has previously said. Maybe because he spends a large part of his classes glued to his phone, taking photos and videos to post on Instagram and share with his personal social media outlets.The fact that trainer Russell Bateman, who has trained Victoria’s Secret models such as Stella Maxwell, records and takes photos continuously throughout his programs wouldn’t be too unusual of a PT if it weren’t for his over sexualisation of women and his incessant need to comment about sex at every interview.
When asked in an interview by Glamour magazine for his top tips on staying healthy one stellar piece of his advice was: “Have more sex. A female orgasm can more than double a woman’s tolerance for pain because it’s an analgesic not an anaesthetic, meaning it suppresses pain,” Interesting take on sex to lose weight.
SBC’s workout experience is not your typical spin class. In fact… you’re forced to touch your neighbor and in some SBC promotional videos two women seem to be working out by attempting to slap the other woman’s ass whilst simultaneously avoiding being slapped. Warning bells, anyone? It does certainly make you wonder what all the footage from a sex obsessed workouts classes are being used for, especially when they involve new-age exercises like this…
“Find a partner and get on her back. Then hold on while she gallops — “FASTER!””These “sexercises” happening amongst total strangers meanwhile Russell leans in filming the session sounds a little like the kind of chaos when a substitute teacher comes n knowing nothing about the subject matter or their students.
But wait! It gets worse.
Whilst Rus advises his clients to ‘Have more sex’ to stay healthy, one of his other workout tips is to avoid your ex and boyfriends altogether. Keeping his solely-female clients pleasure all for himself: “SBC is built to make a girl leave the session leaner, stronger and Mae them feel like they just had a orgasm.” This controlling behavior, especially considering the emphasis on sex, sexual pleasure and pain oversteps the mark from ‘concerned PT’ to controlling masochist. Not to mention, of course, the symbolism between SBC supposedly feeling like you’ve had an orgasm, and the man who gains pleasure out of leading the sessions that make you feel that way.
The SBC’s most recent blunder was hosting a photo shoot on International Women’s Day in which SBC used Kenyan women as props for his models to run circuits in and out of. After being dogged by fashions favorite blogging duo Tony and Lyndsey from Diet Prada SBC issued a very well written out apology, a little too well written considering Russell named his company Skinny Bitch Collective, we doubt anything as eloquent as that apology came directly from him. Diet Prada suggested that Russell suffers from Agonophlia which is a sexual arousal from things boxing|fighting related which could explain SBCs insistence on more ‘primal’ workouts.
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Ummm…happy International Women’s Day? Russell Bateman ( @russellsbc ), the white male mastermind behind the invite-only fitness collective SBC (Skinny Bitch Collective), took a gang of seemingly cloned, pony-tailed white women on a retreat in Kenya. Among the sisterhood-fostering activities like hot air balloon rides, chef-prepared organic meals (that chia berry jam!), and dancing ‘round a tree of life, they also managed to use the local Maasai people not only as a backdrop, but as literal props in their fitness routines. Some videos have already been deleted, but screenshots appear to show the girls writhing around the locals like an obstacle course. Booty twisting on Maasai cloth chick deserves special mention…real classy lol. It’s 2019 and apparently people still haven’t learned that POC/ethnic groups don’t exist to embellish already privileged lives. The Colonial mindset is alive and well I guess… • #internationalwomensday #womensday #sbc #skinnybitchcollective #russellbateman #kenya #africa #poc #maasai #maasaitribe #tribe #health #fitness #retreat #smh #wtf #colonialism #chiaberryjam #lame #maasaishuka
So where does this leave us? The SBC and its insipid founder are gone for now. But whilst it sees apparently obvious to us now that there was something not quite right with the SBC, it still took time for the lid to be blown off SBC— something that may not have happened if it weren’t for the IWD shoot. It should be a warning sign that the previous articles written about the SBC are all tainted with a ‘what the fuck!?’ tone, without actually expressing something clearly about the oversexualisation of the SBC. Articles by Cosmo and Glamour on SBC all have a very odd tone, but skirt actually stating that the SBC is problematic. Was there a heavy editorial hand? But in an industry such as the fashion industry, where women are its biggest consumers and lovers, it still begs the question— why are we still allowing mediocre, misogynistic and racist white men in positions of power and access in our industry? Case in point; Dolce & Gabbanna. Why is it taking so long for us to oust them? Why are some of them still in positions of power whilst more talented women are overlooked?
In the few short weeks since Karl Lagerfeld passed a huge industry change automatically occurred… one of the fashion industry’s most prestigious and perhaps most famous fashion houses, Chanel, finds itself led by a woman— Virginie Viard. For the first time since Chanel herself was at the helm. Its not news that 2018 and 2019 have bee HUGE for women. We have seen women issues at the forefront of debate and discussion, we have seen male harassers and rapists outed for their actions. Its exciting to see their just desserts come forth and even more exciting to see women claim their power. The one thing on my mind is… who is next in the fashion industry? And, honestly, as if woman couldn’t lead female only workout class with more grace, purpose and a hell of a lot less sexual harassment.