'Being fat is not beautiful' sweater sparks furious online backlash
Although we're living in 2018, the world of E-commerce doesn't seem to think so. High-end retailer, Revolve, has incited mass vitriol after releasing a £165 jumper with the slogan, "Being fat is not beautiful, it's an excuse."
The LPA jumper, which is available in sizes XXS to XL, is ironically part of Revolve's new charity collaboration against cyber bullying. Under the quote, the garment says "as said to @palomija", referencing a comment left on plus-size model, Paloma Elsesser's Instagram.
Allegedly, the aim of the campaign was to collaborate with celebrities to shed light on how hurtful internet trolling can be, with all the proceeds being donated to charity. The end result, however, promoted a very different message as the sweatshirt was worn on a model who was white, thin, and largely satisfied western ideals of beauty.
The other designs in the range, which has since been scrapped, were to feature similar quotes from Emily Ratajkowski, Lena Dunham ("Horrible result of modern feminism"), Suki Waterhouse ("if you translated a bum onto her face, she'd have a better face") and Cara Delevingne ("Too boney to be boned").
LPA, who designed the jumpers for Revolve, have since announced that the collection is being removed from the retailer's website. In a statement on their Instagram, they wrote "What was conceived as a statement on today’s internet culture and its treatment of women has gone terribly wrong."
The problem, they said, was a "lack of communication".
"Where we faltered was not intention, sincerity or conception, but in my own lack of communication that lead to how the collection was portrayed on Revolve.com and the pre-mature release of the e-commerce imagery, a day prior to launch."
Revolve have since released their own statement, where they confirm that they are pulling the entire collection, and that they have donated $20,000 to the charity, Girls Write Now.
"The prematurely released image featured on Revolve.com was not only included without context of the overall campaign but regrettably featured one of the pieces on a model who's size was not reflective of the piece’s commentary on body positivity. We at Revolve sincerely apologise to all those involved – particularly Lena, Paloma, our other collaborators – our loyal customers, and the community as a whole for this error.
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."
Lena Dunham, one of the figures intended to champion the LPA range, took to Instagram to announce that she had withdrawn her support.
"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,)" she wrote.
"I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way. 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."
What a way to champion diversity, eh?