SoulCycle instructors can be described as many things: athletes, guides, inspirations, body shamers, sadists with too much power. But a word that I’ve never attributed to SoulCycle instructors is “educator,” as the only educating that happens in the studio is explaining how to unclip from the bike. But “educator” is exactly how celebrity SoulCycle instructor Stacey Griffith described her occupation in order to get a covid-19 vaccine in New York, where school teachers are considered a priority group because they teach children basic life skills rather than teaching wealthy adults how to tap back. Tomato, tomahto.
Griffith was vaccinated on Friday according to Page Six and by Monday she had been shown the error of her ways by her followers. A post that Griffith had made, bragging about getting the vaccine was taken down, and replaced with an apology post.
As far as celebrity apologies go, Griffith’s is particularly uninspiring and vapid. Especially in New York where Griffith’s antics fit a broader pattern of white people taking vaccinations earmarked for residents of Black and brown neighborhoods. Griffith, who lives in Manhattan, got her vaccine in Staten Island according to the Daily Beast, which I refuse to acknowledge as a part of the state of New York though, geographically speaking, it counts.
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Before apologizing, Griffith staunchly defended her interpretation of what she does for a living to the Daily Beast:
“Having me vaccinated can stop the short spread within groups!” Griffith told The Daily Beast. “I function as a common point for many overlapping people. In my profession of health and wellness as a teacher, it’s my priority daily to keep my community and their respiratory systems operating at full capacity so they can beat this virus if they are infected by it. I can only teach to them if I am healthy myself.”
She followed up that statement by saying “all teachers” were eligible for the vaccine and encouraged them to sign up for one. As far as Griffith’s desire to protect her community (the one she reportedly bullies without mercy), her community consists of affluent white people who were taking her class in the Hamptons throughout the summer without wearing masks. Or perhaps she was referring to the community of riders in TriBeCa and Hudson yards who were attending classes well into November. Really not sure what community Griffith is trying to protect, but perhaps she should advise them to take their protection into their own hands. Can’t they just buy the new SoulCycle at-home bike and stay home or does Griffith not get the same commission unless there are people in front of her?