Sportswear Modelling Jobs Are Changing

  • Amy Bebbington

Sportswear modelling jobs have witnessed a huge change. Typically, fitness brands hire models with a defined, muscular shape that boasts bulging biceps, toned thighs and a six pack definition. Either a professional athlete or fitness fanatic are featured in ad campaigns to promote their apparel or equipment.


Curvaceous, fuller figures have never been considered for such a role until now. Nike’s latest campaign takes a new direction remaining true to their motto ‘if you have a body, you are an athlete.’ A slogan that has kind of been ignored by the sportswear label until now!

A New Direction

Nike have realised that their swoosh adorned attire should be accessible to a wider audience than just the professional athletes. Of course, individuals who take part in sporting activities to a high level require the correct gear to train and perform yet the inclusion of different body types is a must; an encouragement for a diverse nation to exercise wearing supportive attire. Nike have produced a campaign to guide women to wear the correct sports bra. Rather than hiring a model with an A cup chest (which has already been covered a thousand times), the inspirational brand featured Paloma Elsesser. Wearing a white sports bra with a fine black trim, Paloma is fully supported and ready to work out.

Reaching out to a new market without publicly stating their intention, Nike have hit a niche in the market – sporting brands who cater for society outside of the athlete arena. Women will be able to relate and understand that Nike do in fact cater for their size. It is a refreshing change that did not come with a ‘look at us we have hired a plus size model’ label yet introduced the ad with sports bra advice. Nike offer a solution to issues with ill-fitting sports bras with their technical advanced designs.

Is There Hope for the Future?

Will sportswear modelling jobs become more open to a diverse shape as a result of Nike’s campaign?

Is this a fickle, one time offering or will more brands such as Adidas or Fila follow in their footsteps?

Only time will tell if the fitness modelling niche will open up to different physiques. A niche which for so long has remained specifically for the muscular figures. Nike has also featured yoga instructor Claire Fountain in the sports bra series; an inclusion that demonstrates how women are fit, love to work out and boast a fuller figure. Such a powerful message that should be welcomed by rivals.

It is about time that sportswear modelling jobs are open to a different type of woman. Those who exercise, are healthy and are not a professional athlete to the standard of Serena Williams. It is an unattainable goal that society can cannot keep up with. An international tennis star will of course, possess a toned, muscular body type due to her job requirements. A great inspiration to admire yet should not be the only physique promoted by sportswear brands. It is time for other athletic labels to acknowledge their responsibility and showcase a diverse range of women.

Do you think fitness modelling is ready for a change? 

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