Clothing Retailer Gets Censure For Releasing ‘Fat-Shaming’ Sweatshirt
By Izza Sofia, 14 Sep 2018
Clothing retailer Revolve has received backlash for one of its garment designs.
The company revealed a new collection—created by fashion brand LPA—on 12 September that features five sweatshirts plastered with vicious phrases supposedly uttered to celebrities. One of the sweatshirts reads, “Being fat is not beautiful it’s an excuse.”
Since the collection came without any explanation, no context for the design was provided and the brand was accused for fat-shaming. Revolve also missed the mark by displaying the image of the sweatshirt on a skinny individual instead of a curvy model, which would have been interpreted differently and more towards body positivity.
Plus-size model Tess Holliday, who recently starred on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine, commented, “LOLLLLL @REVOLVE y’all are a mess.”
Commenting on the sweatshirts, one Twitter user wrote, “They should not exist in the world at all. Ever.”
Plus-size model Paloma Elsesser went on to explain the real context behind the collection.
Apparently the “abusive and controversial” comments displayed on the sweatshirts had been originally directed to celebrities such as Lena Dunham, models Suki Waterhouse and Cara Delevingne. These quotes include “Too boney to be boned” and “Horrible Result of Modern Feminism.” Under the phrase, there’s a small text that reads “As said to” alongside the social media handle of the person.
The collection, which aims to highlight cyber-bullying and donate proceeds to charity, has turned out horribly wrong. Elsesser and Dunham have asked for theirs quotes to be taken down.
Dunham subsequently responded, saying that the brand did not consult her and presented its sweatshirt on a skinny model, which has been negatively interpreted.
Dunham said that she “cannot support this collaboration” and is disappointed at how Revolve has handled such a sensitive topic, but will continue to respect fashion brand LPA, which created this collection.
Revolve has apologized for missing the mark as well as to everyone involved and has pulled the collection from its website.
The clothing retailer is also donating US$20,000 to Girls Write Now, a charity that supports young women and helps them find their voices through writing and community.
The company explained the motive behind the collection in a statement, saying that the prematurely-released series is a “direct commentary” on today’s “normality” of cyber-bullying. The collection aimed to help those affected by cyber-bullying, with proceeds being donated to Girls Write Now.
A hot ass mess. Revolve... Wtf are your buyers thinking?— THE PREP GUY (@Theprepguy) September 13, 2018
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I heard back from @palomija and she told me she is MORTIFIED about how this quote has been used, and is asking for her quote to be pulled • The brand @lpa responded and they have got @revolve to take down the shots - this is our convo. Problematic marketing = a problem with diversity in the work place. This is still incredibly problematic and an awful attempt at ‘claiming back’ toxic narratives because (in my opinion) it just gives them power by putting them back into the world and at a £162 price tag. The designs went up to XL, so the women who this tee is supposed to ‘empower’ probably wouldn’t even fit into one. But at least we got the pics taken down...Ugh.
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[via Teen Vogue, Independent, opening image via Revolve]
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