A New Look for Pilates

Terricka Thomas combines her design talent with her passion for Pilates and a commitment to diversity.

Out of the mouths of babes: That was the inspiration for Pilates Comics, a line of method-inspired illustrations by Terricka Thomas. “One of my Danish clients would always bring her 7-year-old daughter with her to class,” says Thomas, who’s the Denmark-based owner of Terricka Fitness Pilates Online Studio and the Pilates education specialist at Fokus Fitness. “One day her daughter showed up to class with a Barbie doll that looked like me and a gift for me: a picture of me teaching. She had never seen a black woman teach Pilates. Her mom later told me that her daughter kept saying, ‘I want a Barbie doll like Terricka, mom! I want to be an instructor for you—like Terricka, mom! 

“It was a very sweet gift and funny to hear,” says Thomas, who also has a background in graphic design and branding. “It inspired me to put the humorous things that clients say into comics.”

Another thing that sets her work apart is that they feature a diverse range of people doing Pilates. “I wanted all children to see a true reflection of the world. As Michelle Obama said, ‘The arts…define who we are as a people. That is their power—to remind us of what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common.’ The images we display in our studios and advertisements show our thoughts, values, culture and feelings as a Pilates community. If the images we show are consistently one dimensional, what does that mirror? 

“If the Pilates culture is going to make a conscious step out of the past into the future, then it should be reflected in our images we choose to display. Pilates instructors come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Pilates is for everyone, not just for the slim, petit or female.”

For more information, visit Pilates Comics on Instagram @pilatescomics; to purchase: go to terrickafitness.threadless.com; for custom illustrations, e-mail pilatescomics@gmail.com.


Read more articles like this plus exercises, tips, nutrition and so much more in the July/August2020 issue. 


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