A small town of Jacksonville, North Carolina has been in a tizzy over a recent holiday parade where a pole studio entered a float featuring pole fitness. From the news article online featured on JDnews.com, The Daily News of Jacksonville, NC, reported reactions from residents appear to convey the majority of the negative responses are coming from people uneducated about the mainstream fitness aspect of pole dancing.
Kudos to Studio 360 Pole and Group Fitness Center for their willingness to showcase adversity in fitness. It's an important conversation to have when you have a community comprised of an ignorant population. The only way to dispel negative stereotypes is by education. Most larger cities in the U.S. have seen the mainstream acceptance of pole fitness as another form of exercise. It's the smaller areas that still struggle with societal changes especially when certain activities were once deemed sinful to the church. It's shocking that we're now in 2016 and people still think this way. But it does happen. As advocates for pole fitness, we must remain courteous and continue to provide education to the general public to alleviate any fears they have. Fear is a major factor when it comes to misinformation. It's a classic case of what you don't know, CAN hurt you- not physically but has cognitive limitations in this case. We are free thinking creatures and can formulate our own opinions. I'd rather have the correct information before formulating an opinion personally, and I hope others would give ideas and concepts a fair chance once they become better educated on the idea.
However, I know all too well this isn't always the case. So I'd like to encourage others to raise awareness and not be ashamed of what fitness activities they have chosen best for their bodies and healthy lifestyle. The bigger picture here is the fact these men, women, and children participating in pole fitness classes are MOVING. The U.S. adult obesity rate currently exceeds 35 percent in four states, 30 percent in 25 states, and 20 percent in the remaining states (http://stateofobesity.org/adult-obesity/). That's JUST the adult obesity rate. We have an uprising epidemic of childhood obesity that we have barely scathed on a health centered perspective. Children mimic the actions of adults. The more unhealthy of a lifestyle of their adult role model, the more likely the child will also lead an unhealthy lifestyle. So if pole fitness isn't the ideal form of fitness activity for you, please respect that it may be the chosen activity of someone else. So step aside with your judgments and incorporate into your life the classic childhood phrase, "Mind your own business."
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