Los Angeles-based clothing line Revolve really stepped in it by adding a new sweatshirt to its online store featuring the phrase, “Being fat is not beautiful, it’s an excuse.”
The rail-thin model wearing the offensive shirt only made it more insulting.
The sweatshirt is part of a clothing line that’s a spectacularly-botched attempt to combat fat-shaming by featuring statements that have been directed at stars such as Lena Dunham (“Horrible Result of Modern Feminism”) and Cara Delevingne (“Too boney to be boned”).
The line is a collaboration between Revolve, LPA and others, including Dunham, Delevingne, and curvy model Paloma Elsesser.
The “fat is not beautiful” statement was once sent to Elesser by an online troll.
While calling out fat-shamers with their own statements seems like an empowering strategy, the Revolve campaign appears horribly regressive when taken out of context.
Who in their right mind would see someone wearing a shirt that says, “Being fat is not beautiful, it’s an excuse,” and think, “That’s an incredibly-inclusive shirt you got there!”
Revolve has attempted to crawl back into the public’s good graces by apologizing for the mishap and pledging $20,000 to Girls Write Now.
“The prematurely released images 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,” the brand said in a statement.
“We at Revolve sincerely apologize to all those involved – particularly Lena, Emily, Cara, Suki and Paloma – our loyal customers, and the community as a whole for this error,” Revolve continued.
Dunham, who has a long history of promoting body positivity, has exited the collaboration.
“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 said 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.