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Large Companies Should Not Body Shame Women

Time:2018-12-27 08:02Underwear site information Click:

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Growing up bigger than the other girls was always a struggle for me. I was constantly being body-shamed by my friends and family but elementary-aged me didn’t understand why this was a problem. I remember being told on several occasions that, “Boys only like skinny girls.” When I was younger I loved to watch fashion shows and I dreamed of being a model, but as I grew up I had to face reality- I wasn’t skinny enough to make it as a model. Some large clothing companies that we buy from may provide us bigger girls with clothes that will fit us but that doesn’t mean that they don’t continue to criticize us or put us down. The Victoria’s Secret fashion show is just one example of a large women’s clothing and lingerie company that discriminates against women due to their size.  Other companies like Lululemon and Abercrombie have also found themselves in scandals around fat-shaming and body-shaming women.

In May of 2013, Abercrombie & Fitch received numerous questions on why they didn’t stock XL and XXL sizes for women but did for men. CEO Mike Jeffries responded by saying, “I don’t want larger people shopping in my store, I want thin and beautiful people. I don't want my core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing my clothing. People who wear my clothing should feel like they're one of the 'cool kids.'" Offering XL and XXL clothing items to men was to appeal to larger athletes, also known as the cool jocks from school.  Jeffries also stated, ““That's why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that,”” He went on to say, ““We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely…”” Jeffries says that his company targets the young, skinny, cool kids and not the fat kids who don’t have any friends. He genuinely doesn’t see the problem in excluding kids because of their weight and not hiring people who don’t look like the ideal person that would work or wear his brand.

In November of 2013, Lululemon CEO Chip Wilson received a letter of complaint from a customer who had bought a $93 pair of leggings and after a couple of wears her pants had become see through and piled at the thighs. His response was “Our pants ‘don’t work’ for some body types.” The CEO refers to the fact that Lululemon’s pants were not made for bigger girls.

Wilson’s former colleague Nicole Berger also commented on his responses to the controversy over his pants. She said, “"My thighs rub together, and I didn't take it personally,"  she says, "I wear Lululemon. I wear it for running, yoga, training for my triathlon. And, you know, pilling is a natural thing that's going to happen. All women of all shapes and sizes need to wear clothes. Does every company need to cater to every woman? No."” If you do a Google search on Nicole Berger you can see that she is skinny and could be said to have the ‘perfect body’. Berger argues that she doesn’t have any issues with the pants and she wasn’t offended by his comments yet these results are contradicted by her lack of being a bigger girl and relating to the discrimination we plus-sized girls face everyday.

Lululemon found themselves in another scandal, more recently, where employees body-shamed a customer who browsed the store for a couple pairs of leggings after losing several pounds. This event occurred in January of 2017. “While perusing the sales rack, she said, a staff member could be heard whispering loudly to her colleague: “Do we even have anything in her size?” before bursting into laughter. “I was the only customer in the store,” Ms Albert wrote. “I knew it was directed at me. I was mortified. I quickly bought the two things I had in my hand that I had found and left the store. I was so embarrassed! I had a work function to go to that night, when I got back to my hotel I cried in the shower.”” Employees at companies like Lululemon should be more mindful of the words that come out of their mouths in the presence of people who are already self-conscious about their bodies.

The most recent scandal involving a large company and their body-shaming on women includes Victoria’s Secret in November of 2018. “Victoria’s Secret doesn’t use plus-size… models because there’s ‘no interest in it’, says Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek Chief.” On November 8, 2018, Victoria’s Secret held their 23rd annual fashion show in New York City. For the past two years Victoria’s Secret has promised a ‘diverse’ fashion show for their audience and have included models of several different races but never a plus-sized girl. “While last year's show was labelled "more diverse than ever", with almost half of the models being of black, asian, or hispanic descent, not one of the 52 models was plus-size. Yep, not a single one. And guess what, none of the models announced for this year's show are plus-size either.”

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