Is Frankie JustGymIt guilty of body shaming? [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]

Look at your stomach. Are you happy?

Frankie JustGymIt

Frankie Kiarie who goes by Frankie JustGymIt or Coach Frankie on social media has gone viral due to his marketing strategy, with his images finding their way to BlackTwitter.

In the photos posted online, Frankie can be seen holding a brown cardboard by the roadside in Nairobi.

The first image Frankie posted on his Instagram page mid August read, "Look at your stomach. Are you happy?"

The second image posted last week read, "Slimming tea na mandazi tatu is not a meal."

Frankie is a Fitness, Nutrition & Lifestyle consultant and the founder of JustGymIt. We can only assume this is part of his marketing strategy. Probably imitating Dude With Sign, who most recently was at the White House together with President Biden urging Americans to get vaccinated against Corona.

Both images have gone viral and have caused an uproar on social media with one side claiming that the messaging is rife with misogyny and body shaming.

Alongside claims that if he had clients he wouldn’t be busy holding signs by the roadside. The other side claiming that the messaging is okay since people are now talking about it.

When you examine both images, they are two of the most engaged posts on his page, in the recent past. He’s relaying on outrage marketing to bring awareness on weight loss and benefits of good nutrition.

Outrage marketing can be defined as a type of marketing strategy that relies on messaging that is controversial, deliberately shocking, offends and startles the audience.

Outrage marketing relies on the use of blunt slogans or imagery to highlight your message. The aim is to create a buzz across social media, go viral, generate numerous clicks and high engagement on the posts.

In this instance, he has said something inflammatory, there’s an uproar across all social media platforms, stories are written about it across digital media platforms and he lives to do it multiple times.

Those calling out the messaging insist that as a fitness coach and nutritionist, Frankie can find a better way to educate people and get clients.

He should do it with empathy and care. Positive reinforcement works better than insulting/ shaming someone into compliance.

People supporting Frankie are asking the rest to stop being sensitive, to hit the gym if the message made them feel some type of way.

In the meantime, we wait and see whether business will pick. And remember at the end of the day, you don’t owe anyone a flat stomach.

The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors Initiative.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via contributors@pulse.co.ke.

Muthoni Njoki is a Kenyan Writer, Marketing & Communications Consultant and civil servant, with over 8 years in private and public service. The world is her oyster so she lives life to the fullest. Her mantra is, "Every moment on earth is a story to be told".

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