In case you haven’t seen the social media outrage, the upscale clothing brand, Lilly Pulitzer, has been in the news due to an employee’s drawings portraying overweight women with hurtful captions on the wall of her cubicle.
It’s a little bit hard to read so let me share the captions with you.
The first one says “Just another day of fat, white, and hideous…you should probably just kill yourself”, and the second one says “Put it down, Carb Face”.
According to the company’s spokesperson, the images were the work of one employee and were posted in her personal work area. The spokesperson also stated, “While we are an employer that does encourage people to decorate their own space, we are a female-dominated company and these images do not reflect our values. We apologize for any harm this may have caused.”
I don’t care if it’s your private space or not. It’s a cubicle. At your work. It’s open. People come in and out of it. The drawings never would have been left hanging in there for 5 minutes if others did not condone it. This clearly speaks to the culture of the organization.
This individual should be fired and Lilly Pulitzer should spend a cute pink and green sail boat load of money on a PR firm to come in and clean up this mess.
So now that we are all aware that (surprise) the fashion industry continues to fat shame, what can we do about it? I think a lot of us are already doing it. The outpouring of support on social media is incredible and demonstrates that progress is being made. Bringing attention to the matter and standing up for what is right is exactly what will eventually bring down these crazy body expectations that have been set for us. Unfortunately there are still a lot of shallow individuals and companies ready to criticize others based on their appearance. By the way, Lilly Pulitzer even sells plus-sized clothing while letting employees have art like this in their work spaces. But don’t run out to Target just yet – They only sell plus-sizes online.
To help combat instances of body hate as demonstrated by the Lilly Pulitzer employee, I’ve come up with four steps we can take to help change this societal problem.
- Build each other up instead of tearing each other down. We need to stop competing with other women and start helping one another.
- Stop letting people talk about what’s wrong with your body. It’s no one else’s business to discuss another person’s weight/body/figure unless invited in a mutual conversation. PERIOD. There are no exceptions granting free say to certain people in your life (like your partner, mother, or best friend). Only when you have invited the conversation.
- Stop fat shaming yourself. Invite others to respect the way you look by being proud and happy in your own body no matter how many problem areas you think you have. News flash: These skinny models we have spent years trying to emulate make up 5% of women. This is not the norm!
- Change the conversation. When the talk with friends turns to complaining about your bodies (which has happened countless times with my friends…I know how easy it is to go down that road) try taking a new approach: Just don’t do it. There are better things to talk about with your friends besides how fat you all think you are. Start feeling the love for your body and believe me, you’ll start looking at yourself differently.
So Lilly Pulitzer, I couldn’t afford your clothes anyway but you can forget about me buying your cute office accessories and phone cases (which I rocked for two whole years) ever again. We’re so over!
In the comments:
- Have you ever been fat shamed? How did you deal?
- How do you think we can change this problem in our society?