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Michelle Bridges spoke at a parenting expo, and hardly anyone showed up.

Biggest Loser star Michelle Bridges was the keynote speaker at the One Fine Baby expo in Sydney over the weekend, but struggled to attract an audience.

Described as “Australia’s best boutique family and lifestyle fair”, the expo hopes to “inspire, inform and entertain” those who are “starting a family, or who already have young children.”

Bridges, 45, was one of the two keynote speakers, along with Carrie Bickmore. Unfortunately, Bickmore was unable to attend due to illness.

Although the main event was free, the session with Bridges was priced at $49. As well as hearing Bridges speak, the package included a meet-and-greet, a photo opportunity and a goodie bag.

Despite having 219,000 followers on Twitter and over 850,000 followers on her Facebook page Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation, the renowned fitness guru only attracted an audience of about 40 people.

On stage inspiring us all ???????????????????????? @mishbridges – all are welcome in

A photo posted by One Fine Baby® (@onefinebaby) on

A director of the event, Marissa Mills, said that those who did attend “took a lot out of it”. She continued “[Michelle is] a great speaker, a great motivator. But in the end the shopping was too good and people wanted to shop more than anything…”

The organisers conceded that they tried some new things that didn’t work like they’d hoped.

New Idea ran with the headline “Michelle Bridges humiliated“, reporting that “not even the offer of free tickets could lure crowds”.

Indeed, the audience turnout was disappointing. But we doubt the author, television host and personal trainer, who – regardless of what you might think of her – is incredibly hard working, was left “humiliated”.

There are a number of factors that contributed to the poor turnout, Bickmore’s absence being one of them.

Organisers commended Bridges on her energetic and inspiring talk, remarking “Doing a baby fair was a new thing for Michelle … she was a trooper. She got up there and presented with tons of energy.”

But perhaps there is another factor at play. 

Maybe this simply was not the right platform for Bridges.

Perhaps parents have had enough of being lectured to.

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Bridges’ talk was about “consistently linking mindset with nutrition and exercise”. She is said to mix “her tough love message with heartwarming compassion and has won the hearts and minds of Australian’s of all ages, weights and genders…She encourages small positive changes every day that empower us to be the best versions of ourselves.”

But her ‘tough love’ approach might be something mums are ready to move on from. There’s enough pressure coming from all different directions about how to be a good parent, and most of us, parent or not, are completely overwhelmed with health messages.

The very fact the term ‘baby weight’ exists is a testament to the policing applied to new mums.

And maybe they’re sick of it.

That is not to say that Bridges in any way intends to criticise women, but her brand is premised upon an understanding that all women are a work in progress (…and one that can be ‘fixed’ in 12 weeks).

Perhaps this is a message that some mums are no longer willing to pay for.

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