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Guy’s Invite-Only ‘Skinny B*tches’ Retreat In Kenya Prompts Outrage For Using Native Kenyans As Props For Workout

@russellsbc/Instagram

An invite-only workout group is being criticized for using members of a Maasai tribe as literal props for a workout. The group is very popular with models and has been described as “cult-like”.

Friday, Russell Bateman, founder of the group, uploaded photos and videos of the Skinny Bitch Collective (or SBC) in Kenya for a workout retreat. The retreat was scheduled for March 6th to the 13th.

The posts he uploaded to his Instagram for this event, however, have been deleted and his profile is now inaccessible. That’s because he showed his workout group exercising right in front of members of a local Maasai tribe who were guiding the SBC, and in some cases, using them as props for their workouts.

The images and videos were saved by blogger Diet Prada who uploaded them to their own Instagram to ensure they werenÂ’t erased.

View this post on Instagram

Ummm...happy International Women’s Day? Russell Bateman ( @russellsbc ), the white male mastermind behind the invite-only fitness collective SBC (Skinny Bitch Collective), took a gang of seemingly cloned, pony-tailed white women on a retreat in Kenya. Among the sisterhood-fostering activities like hot air balloon rides, chef-prepared organic meals (that chia berry jam!), and dancing ‘round a tree of life, they also managed to use the local Maasai people not only as a backdrop, but as literal props in their fitness routines. Some videos have already been deleted, but screenshots appear to show the girls writhing around the locals like an obstacle course. Booty twisting on Maasai cloth chick deserves special mention...real classy lol. It’s 2019 and apparently people still haven’t learned that POC/ethnic groups don’t exist to embellish already privileged lives. The Colonial mindset is alive and well I guess... • #internationalwomensday #womensday #sbc #skinnybitchcollective #russellbateman #kenya #africa #poc #maasai #maasaitribe #tribe #health #fitness #retreat #smh #wtf #colonialism #chiaberryjam #lame #maasaishuka

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on

 

Part of the caption says reads:

“They also managed to use the local Maasai people not only as a backdrop, but as literal props in their fitness routines. The videos have already been deleted, but screenshots appear to show the girls writhing around the locals like an obstacle course.”

The pictures and video uploaded by Diet Prada show some of the SBC workouts such as crawling around the tribe members and running between them. Another video turns from the group performing jumping jacks to film the Maasai standing further away for seemingly no reason.

People online werenÂ’t happy about it.

Bateman has said the group had to remain near the Maasai, as they were on the tribeÂ’s ancestral land and the tribe voluntarily joined the activities.

However, it still doesnÂ’t look good to see a group of white people using people of color as backdrop and furniture for their own purposes.

Bateman had posted an apology before taking down his Instagram page.

He was sorry for the groupÂ’s actions and said,

“It has been rightly pointed out that far from promoting a positive meeting of opposing cultures, we may have instead unintentionally played into a racial history of ‘othering’.”

The SBC is a workout group known for their exclusivity. Russell Bateman, the British founder, posts pictures and videos of the workouts the group performs to Instagram, often including famous clients to drum up interest.

The SBC was founded in London and, outside of its exclusive nature, is known for the bizarre “cave-girl sorority” exercises like the aforementioned crawling and galloping with a classmate on your back.

Famous clients such as VictoriaÂ’s Secret Angel, Romee Strijd and singer Ellie Goulding are among the participants.

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Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.