I just saw a post on Facebook about a fitness app called Carrot. Thinking it might be something fun to try out, I headed on over to the App Store to look at it. It only took about 5 seconds to see it’s extremely fatphobic.
[TW: fitness-based fatphobia with some violent imagery]
Full disclosure, I did not download the app. It’s not free, and I am not going to give $4 to someone hateful enough to make this thing. However, app creators provide text and images to the store specifically to show what the user can expect. As such it is completely fair to judge it on what the developers have selected to serve as a glimpse into their creation.
The images all contain a little avatar of a person, who is round and fat. It’s abundantly clear that this is your before, what you are striving to move away from. The avatar itself is actually kind of adorable. When combined with the text, however, it’s clearly not meant to be.
There isn’t a whole lot I can say about this aside from just letting the horrifying screenshots speak for themselves. Suffice to say, I’m sure there are people out there who think it’s just ~hilarious motivation~ but that is a bunch of nonsense.
I’m not against a little snark and brashness as a motivator. I love UFYH. The difference there is that the motivation doesn’t use people (or their bodies) as a punchline, or something disgusting to be avoided. It uses swearing, and a little yelling, but it hold onto a level of humanity and compassion that I’m not seeing in the Carrot listing.
The “territory markers” thing could actually be pretty funny. I would love an app that used a certain irreverence around exercise, because too many fitness types do take themselves too seriously. YOU CAN DO THIS WITHOUT USING FAT BODIES AS A PUNCHING BAG.
Can we talk about this imagery, too? The fat little avatar is being zapped by electricity. This is an inherently violent graphic. The caption at the top, telling you to “lay off the ice cream — or else” almost makes it seem like there should be painful physical punishment for enjoying a dessert. That is horrifying.
Bottom line, Carrot clearly uses offensive, violent, and fatphobic tactics to motivate its users. There may be good things contained within. I have no idea what the actual workouts are like — in fairness, they may be excellent. But they’re surrounded in so much bigotry and hate that it becomes impossible to care what else is going on.
Somehow (we know how), this garbage is App of the Day.