Luxury gym group Equinox accused of ‘fatphobia’ after banning new members joining on 1 January

Two people walk past an Equinox gym in New York

Luxury gym Equinox has come under fire for banning the New Year’s resolution crowd by announcing they would not accept new members on 1 January. 

Posting a photo to Twitter reading, “it’s not you, it’s January”, the high-end fitness chain explained it would not allow new members to join on New Year’s Day, when many people are making resolutions to take up exercise. 

“January is a fantasy, delivered to your door in a pastel-coloured box,” Equinox’s website read on the first day of 2023. 

“You are not a New Year’s Resolution. Your life doesn’t start at the beginning of the year. And that’s not what being part of Equinox is about.”

The statement added: “We look forward to welcoming you to our Equinox community tomorrow.”

The reaction to the statement was mixed to say the least, with one claiming “every avid gym-goer hates January”, and others describing the gym’s statement as “fatphobic”.

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“I don’t think this is discouraging at all… fitness and wellness is a journey that has no shortcuts,” another user said. “You don’t have to wait to January to start a new habit”.

Others, however, branded the marketing stunt “intimidating” for people looking to start up fitness, and a “disgusting” message for those “trying to make a positive change”.

“Someone please help, I tried to join Equinox today and they locked me inside of a pastel-coloured box with nothing to eat or drink except three eucalyptus towels and half an Imodium tablet I’m still stuck in here,” one user joked.

The LGBTQ+ community came together in 2019 to boycott Equinox and SoulCycle after allegations that an investor in the companies had hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump.

While Equinox and SoulCycle made a statement saying they “did not support” the fundraising event, celebrities including Chrissy Teigen seemingly joined in on the boycott.

“Everyone who cancels their equinox and soul cycle memberships, meet me at the library. Bring weights,” Teigen tweeted at the time.

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