A major gym chain is under fire after an actress called out its fat-shaming ads

abigail breslin
abigail breslin

Kevin Winter/Getty

Gold's Gym has apologized for running fat-shaming ads that the company admits were "offensive and disgusting."

Actress Abigail Breslin drew attention to the ads after reposting them on her Instagram account two days ago.

"Wow honestly disgusted by this @goldsgym you should be ashamed of yourselves," she wrote next to the ad pictured above. "Things like this are the reason 9 year old girls develop eating disorders."

The ads were posted by Cairo-based Gold's Gym Dreamland, a sub-franchise of the international fitness chain. As of now, the ads are not on Gold Gym's Instagram page and Gold's Gym Dreamland's Facebook page is unavailable.

Here's one of the offending ads.

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"Working out should be something you do for yourself, your health and your mind & body, not cuz a corporation declares your body shape isn't what girls should look like," Breslin continued. "Also I wonder if it's cool with Golds Gyms for men to be pear shaped? Interesting they had to single out females. Good job for preying on people's insecurities and perpetuating body image issues! Good thing I've never signed up for your gym, now I certainly never will."

Here's the other ad.

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"WOW @goldsgym how about CHALLENGE YOURSELF to not be a body shaming, ignorant, mean spirited company?" Breslin wrote.

Gold's Gym issued an apology on Instagram on Wednesday.

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Gold's Gym said that it removed the sub-franchisee's Facebook page and that it is "in the process of expediting the termination of this sub-franchisee's agreement."

"Gold's Gym Dreamland does not uphold the values and inclusiveness that Gold's Gym promotes throughout our global network," the apology read. 

Some commenters appreciated the gym chain's public apology.

"That was a really disgusting message in those ads. Glad you're doing something about those images," one commenter wrote next to Gold's Gym's apology post.

"As a pear-shaped girl, I appreciate your apologies! Thank you," another wrote.

Not everyone is placated yet, though.

"I hope a barbell falls on their stupid fat shaming faces!" Another commenter wrote.

The ads contradict today's mainstream fitness philosophy, which celebrates wellness, body positivity, and acceptance over thinness. Models such as Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence have used Instagram to prove that working out isn't just a way to get skinny — it's a way to get strong. These women help promote the idea that wellness doesn't have one look.

The dieting industry is also responding to a major shift in attitudes, as people focus not just on losing weight, but also on general wellness. 

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