The fashion site Revolve pulled a sweatshirt designed by Los Angeles-based brand LPA on Thursday, following public outcry over the fat-shaming message on the item, according to Allure.com.
The sweatshirt, which read “Being fat is not beautiful, it’s an excuse,” was reportedly designed by HBO Girls creator Lena Dunham and was $168. On Wednesday, several people blasted the company for the messaging of the item including model and body positivity champion Tess Holliday.
— Tess Holliday 🥀 (@Tess_Holliday) September 12, 2018
Florence Given, a London-based artist and social justice advocate, was one of the first to bring attention to the “problematic marketing” of the sweatshirt.
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ITS BEEN CANCELLED! Yesterday I posted a screenshot of this jumper calling out @revolve – within minutes the brand was in contact with me and the listings were taken off the site – a few hours later it’s all over the news and @lpa decided to pull the distasteful collection COMPLETELY…We did this!!! • However, the fashion world still has a problem with fat bodies. There is still an eating disorder inducing narrative that is being filtered through our every day lives in advertising that says you CANNOT be happy the way you are, because there are industries that rely on your self doubting COIN! Speaking of which, Insatiable just got picked up for Season 2 despite it being rated the worst Netflix original series ever…what does that tell you about Netflix? I am done
According to Fox News, the shirt was a part of a capsule collection by LPA with Dunham, Emily Ratajkowski, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Paloma Elsesser. The capsule was supposed to provide commentary on cyberbullying and proceeds were to be given to Girls Write Now, a charity that matters mentors underserved young women.
In the midst of the backlash, Dunham blasted Revolve for using a thin model to promote the quote, which was said to plus-sized model Paloma Elsesser.
“Without consulting me or any of the women involved, @revolve presented the sweatshirts on thin white women, never thinking about the fact that difference and individuality is what gets you punished on the Internet, or that lack of diversity in representation is a huge part of the problem (in fact, the problem itself.)” She wrote on Instagram. “As a result, I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way.”
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For months I’ve been working on a collaboration with my friend Pia’s company LPA through parent company @revolve – sweatshirts that highlight quotes from prominent women who have experienced internet trolling & abuse. This is a cause very close to my heart and the proceeds were meant to benefit charities that help young women by empowering them to express themselves through writing and art. Without consulting me or any of the women involved, @revolve presented the sweatshirts on thin white women, never thinking about the fact that difference and individuality is what gets you punished on the Internet, or that lack of diversity in representation is a huge part of the problem (in fact, the problem itself.) As a result, I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way. This isn’t meant to shame Pia or the great work she’s done with LPA. I am deeply disappointed in @revolve’s handling of a sensitive topic and a collaboration rooted in reclaiming the words of internet trolls to celebrate the beauty in diversity and bodies and experiences that aren’t the industry norm. *** I’d like to especially extend my love and support to @palomija, whose quote was the first to be promoted and mangled. She’s a hero of mine. Like me, she gave her quote in good faith and shared her vulnerability in order to support arts education and to spread her message of empowerment, and she wasn’t consulted in the marketing. Not an ounce of negativity should be sent her way. *** My only goal on this planet is to empower women through art and dialogue. I’m grateful to every woman who shared a quote and so disappointed that our words were not honored. As a result, I will be making a donation to the charity of every woman’s choice who was wronged with me and I hope that @revolve will join me with a contribution of their own. *** P.S. This Rubens painting makes me happy because it’s about women joining in love, but he didn’t recognize diversity at all- he just loved curvy butts. Problematic fave.
In a statement about the controversy, LPA said it would donate $20,000 to Girls Write Now. “The collection has been pulled. We are proud to donate $20,000 to Girls Write Now in the hopes that those who need it can still benefit from what was to be a meaningful, insightful and impactful collaboration by LPA.”