Personal trainer Sheridan Mordew, 24, from Sunderland, arrived in Dubai on January 2, just a few days before the third national lockdown, in order to film live workouts to inspire her clients back home in the UK.
Since then, the social media star, who runs ‘Shape Up With Sher,’ has been sharing glamorous, sunshine-filled content with her Instagram followers as she enjoys relaxed restrictions in the United Arab Emirates.
They called her ‘selfish’ and ‘disgraceful’ for trying to imply her work – sharing sun-soaked selfies and outdoor fitness classes – was essential.
Sheridan travelled while Sunderland and the rest of the North East entered Tier 4 on January 1, meaning people were told to stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel, unless the person was legally permitted to do so.
Personal trainer Sheridan Mordew, 24, from Sunderland, arrived in Dubai on January 2, just a few days before the third national lockdown, and planned to film live workouts to inspire her clients back home in the UK. She was criticised on This Morning after claiming she had travelled to Dubai only for business (pictured in Dubai)
‘The reason I came to Dubai was purely for business,’ Sheridan started during a video call with the This Morning duo.
A cynical Phil told Sheridan: ‘A lot of the fitness stuff, this could be in your garage in Bolton, you don’t have to be in Dubai to do that.’
The influencer claimed she had travelled to the United Arab Emirates because she was struggling with her mental health, adding that ‘clients depend on me to bring them happiness’.
She said her thought process was: ‘The only way I’m gonna get out of this is to find an opportunity to get out of here on a plane to Dubai.
The personal trainer started by saying going to Dubai was a business decision, but then said the move was down to improving her mental health
Sheridan has shared snaps of her lavish holiday in Dubai on her Instagram page and claims it is lifting other people’s spirits
She said the travel was ‘the opportunity to get good content,’ and stressed she has no children and no ties
‘I’m not going to get content at home watching Netflix,’ she said. ‘It is all about the whole aspect of content, getting clients, all that kind of stuff.’
She said she ‘couldn’t be bothered’ to do anything at home because of the weather and so decided to esacape the country, days before the third lockdown was announced.
She said she felt the choice was down to ‘happiness’ and said that other people could work from home and have secure jobs, claiming she doesn’t.
The influencer said it was a ‘struggle’ to decide what to share and not to share on her Instagram due to the lockdown she had ru away from in the UK
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were not impressed by Sheridan’s attempt at justifying her decision to go to Dubai
‘I’m working for my business, I’m getting paid, people would jump at the opportunity to do that,’ she said.
She added she had been ‘struggling’ to decide on whether posting or not posting some of the content she filmed in Dubai, but Phil countered that by not posting her content, she wouldn’t be doing the essential work she had claimed was the reason for her Dubai visit in the first place.
‘I’m not hurting anybody, I’m creating jobs, helping people’s mental health, I’m following the guidelines,’ Sheridan said.
Unimpressed Holly and Phil tried to point out to Sheridan that other fitness trainers, such as Joe Wicks, had managed to not only work in the UK, but have seen their followers count flourish during lockdown, but Sheridan responded that her mental health was suffering in the UK.
Her segment was not well received online, where people vented their frustration on Twitter and branded her ‘selfish, disgraceful and heartless’.
‘Can’t stand these f****** selfish “influencers”. They live in their own world and love shoving their amazing lives in other peoples faces,’ one said.
Angry viewers branded Sheridan ‘selfish’ and ‘heartless’ for travelling to Dubai while the rest of the country is under lockdown
‘So this “influencer” has clients who look to her for motivation to get through lockdown. How is it motivating for her clients to see her in Dubai, when that is not an option for them>’ another asked.
‘What is wrong with this woman onThis Morning? What part of stay at home does she not understand? Aren’t we all supposed to be in this together and not in Dubai,’ another wrote.
‘Absolutely disgraceful, the woman in Dubai – making excuses to justify her actions. Sorry but you have done yourself no favours, people will see straight through you,’ one wrote.
‘So selfish and so heartless. This stupid idiot of a woman trying to justify what she is doing to mental health issues,’ said one.
‘This girl needs a reality check and a b***** great fine! So angry she thinks she is unique and can do what she likes! Her job is to motivate people yeah right,’ said another.
Sheridan flew from Manchester with initial plans to stay for two weeks but now aims to be in Dubai until the end of March in the hope that things will be better when she returns.
‘I was doing classes in my garden during the first lockdown,’ she explained. ‘I was doing the live workouts, but then when the second lockdown hit, I couldn’t do anything other than the live stuff. So I just thought, “Why not go to Dubai?”.
‘I was already doing the live workouts from home, but I knew I could do it from Dubai. It didn’t matter where in the world I was.’
Sheridan initially travelled to Dubai in December for eight days and returned home before travelling back out in January.
She is currently staying in an apartment where she is filming regular live workouts for clients back home and says she has funded the trip herself.
The fitness fanatic said: ‘Other personal trainers might not necessarily jump on a plane to Dubai to promote themselves. They might do things in the house and take photos in the mirror. There is not much you can do.
‘So I thought: “How can I get clients in my area that will benefit myself by getting business?” Mental health and physical things aside, booking a trip to Dubai is business.
With gyms, bars, restaurants and clubs remaining open, Dubai has attracted a number of British influencers wanting to escape the national lockdown and take advantage of its opportunities to sell products in places that remain closed back home.
‘Essential work trips’ have enabled people to travel from the UK, but social media stars using that as justification for their trip have attracted some backlash from those in lockdown.
But Sheridan says that those who criticise may not understand the industry and the need to be in such locations to sell products.
She said: ‘A lot of people sitting in the house watching the posts – it might be a little bit of jealousy, I don’t know – but I think a lot of the time they don’t understand the business side of things.
‘The person saying, “Don’t do this, don’t do that”…they are still making money where they are, but that influencer needs to make money doing what they are doing. No one has got the right to judge.
‘A lot of influencers don’t have anything else to fall back on. Personal trainers are their own business, being what they look like.
‘So if you are not in shape being a personal trainer and you are not taking photos on the beach and getting good content. then you are not going to make money.
‘You need to be in places where you are going to make money – which is not sitting in the house on the sofa watching Netflix.’