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Equinox Fitness Clubs–a national chain of workout clubs that are almost as common on NYC blocks as Starbucks–have only one outpost so far in Boston. However, it’s already causing quite an unhappy stir among some Boston Catholic folk.
In order to drum up new memberships, the company ran quite an interesting (read: odd/shocking/even gratuitous) advertisement in Boston Magazine. The photo in the add portrays several nuns, in full habit, painting a very muscular and very naked man. WHAT?
In the Boston news, C.J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts comments, “It says a great deal about this perverse obsession in both the fashion industry and the advertising industry of exploiting and mocking and sexualizing Catholic religious imagery.”


In a written statement, Equinox justified the ad with the following: “Our ad campaigns are based on personal motivation and fantasy, and throughout history the body has been considered a form of art.”
Local area nuns aren’t worried, though.
“It is crass, but there are a lot of crass things that I don’t pay attention to. I don’t need to,” said Sister Martha Moss, of The Daughters Of Saint Paul.”We work in the media all the time and we know that these things come and go and the best thing is to let them go,” said Sister Kathryn Hermes, also a member of this community.
In my own opinion, I don’t quite understand the sense of this ad in the first place. What is it trying to convey about fitness and the body that it needs a group of Catholic nuns to make its statement? Or maybe it’s simply a way to drum up publicity–portraying nuns with a naked man–and doesn’t have a larger point or statement to make?
Which therefore simply makes it gratuitous…

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