June 5, 2010
Yay for small acts of activism
Recently I posted that Urban Outfitters was selling this shirt which in one way or another makes light of eating disorders. 1 in 5 people with anorexia die. Many women who do survive the disease have lifelong health issues; infertility, heart problems, bone density issues, etc. For them, and their loved ones, it isn’t a joke.
But this is a happy post! Me and tons of other people were pissed off, and emailed Urban Outfitters protesting the shirt and the message it sends.
Here is what I sent;
To Whom it May Concern:
Please think about the messages you send when creating your clothes. Whether intended or not, shirts that sport sayings like, “Eat Less” at worst encourage eating disorders and at best reinforce a culture that already puts too much pressure on women to be thin.
On an added note, your shirt that sports the line about fathers protecting their daughter’s virginity was not funny or witty, it was downright creepy. The message implies that a) fathers own their daughters, they are literally chattel b)a woman’s worth is inherently connected to her whether or not she is a virgin, c) a woman losing her virginity isn’t an autonomous choice she could make, but a man taking it from her, “stealing it”.
You have the power to spread really powerful messages. Stop using your clothes as a platform for sexist messages. I have many friends who feel the same as I do on this matter, and until those shirts are removed, you won’t be getting any of our money.
Which is a shame; I love buying your dresses!
Apparently people were reading those emails, because the shirt has been removed from their website!
Hey, we have to celebrate the tiny victories in order to fight for the big ones. Like, you know, protecting a woman’s rights to an abortion, getting rid of abstinence-only education, and making Plan B more affordable and accessible!