Ashy Bines has built a lucrative business from selling women her fitness and clean eating plans, and now, the 29-year-old has launched an initiative targeting toddlers and young children.
Ashy and Friends is an animated DVD series and ‘edu-tainment’ event which aims to “not only encourage, but educate [kids] to make healthier choices through song and movement.” The program is designed for children between the ages of one and six.
The first four episodes of the Ashy and Friends series, which can be viewed on Bines’ website, cover “the benefits of water, eating healthy food, and only having sweet drinks as ‘sometimes’ treats,” learning how to do squats, and learning how to salsa dance. These lessons are taught by characters such as Kat, whose “special talent is that she is super fit and really really fast,” and Bruno, who is “fun, tough and the muscles of the group”.
On Bines’ site, Ashy and Friends claims to be “more than just entertainment”, with an event that “promotes health and happiness in your kids at the same time as making them laugh, dance, sing and SMILE!”
"Our society is becoming less active, less healthy and more overweight every year," the site reads. "More than ever it is CRITICAL to inspire a love of health and fitness in our children."
Bines' business did not respond to enquiries from Mamamia asking for further details on the type of messaging the program will promote and whether there are safeguards in place to reduce any harm these messages may cause.
Christine Morgan, CEO of The Butterfly Foundation, the national voice for people affected by eating disorders and negative body image, shared her concerns that Bines' messaging has "gone too far."
"I find it astounding that we're even going into this space," she told Mamamia.
"I think [the program is] tapping into parental concern. You cannot tell me that a toddler has got any concept of body image, healthy or unhealthy eating. It's not on their radar."
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