Fitness instructor's 'Bridal Bootcamp' causes backlash over 'weight-loss shaming'

Fitness instructor Cassey Ho is accused of body shaming brides. (Photo: Instagram/Blogilates)

A fitness influencer is under fire for what she calls “weight-loss shaming” over her Bridal Bootcamp series.

Cassey Ho is a Los Angeles, Calif.-based exercise instructor who runs the popular YouTube channel Blogilates with more than four million subscribers and a live class called Pop Pilates. In March, to prep for her October wedding, Ho created a five-class workout called Bridal Bootcamp, with cheeky themes such as, “Happily Ever After Abs,” “Shedding for the Wedding Cardio,” “Backless Bride Back Toning,” “How to get Great Arms Down the Aisle,” and “Booty Lift.”

However, after her workouts went live, Ho was pelted with backlash on social media from people who claimed she was fat-shaming brides and a “hypocrite” for promoting thinness under the guise of body-positivity.

On Friday, Ho replied on Instagram. 

“Ok so I think we all know about fat shaming and skinny shaming,” wrote Ho to her 1.4 million followers. “But have you ever been ‘weightloss shamed?’ I didn’t even really know this was a thing until I started getting some negative comments about how my Bridal Bootcamp Series was not body positive because I was making brides feel bad. Apparently, I was making brides feel like they HAD TO work out before their wedding.”

Ho continued, “If you think that working out is the “worst” thing you could do before your wedding because it’s gonna make you look different…hmm why don’t you also NOT get a new dress and NOT get your hair and makeup professionally done? The point is – it’s a special day and you’re going to do special things to feel better and look more confident anyway!”

“Look, I adore the body positive movement,” she explained. “But sometimes, when something becomes too popular, people take the term, twist it and abuse it. Who said you can’t be body positive WHILE transforming your body at the same time? Those 2 things are NOT mutually exclusive.”

“I think people reacted negatively because unlike my other workouts, this was perceived to have a deadline or a goal — a wedding — and that was offensive to some,” Ho tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The reality is, I work out to feel physically stronger and boost my mood. I would never advise anyone to lose weight.”

In a follow-up blog post titled, “Whether You’re Too Fat or Too Fit, Seems Like You Can’t Win” Ho  addressed the complexities of body positivity, a movement that began as a way to celebrate marginalized body types but has evolved to include anyone, particularly thin women, who are proud of their appearance.

“Here’s the problem you guys. I think we all know that fat shaming is not okay. And the whole body positive movement has been incredibly amazing in making that message clear,” wrote Ho. “…But, there always seems to be a point where the movement and the message goes from creating positive change to then being misunderstood and then abused. This is the case with skinny shaming and in this case, weight loss shaming! I’m glad society is finally learning that it’s NOT OKAY to tell someone they’re fat. But this doesn’t make it okay to say the exact opposite. You can’t choose to be body positive one way but not the other!”

She added, “So when it comes to me wanting to work out harder and eat better for my wedding, can someone please tell me what is wrong with that? I want to work hard so that on my wedding day my skin is glowing, I feel confident in my dress, and I feel amazing walking down the aisle. So yeah – my body is going to change and yeah – I’m gonna love it. Now let me clarify something. Just because I’m changing, does not mean I can’t also cherish my body at the same time.”

“Weight loss is a personal decision between a person and their doctor,” Ho tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I don’t believe anyone has the right to tell anyone else how to look.”

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