I really hate it when people say stuff like “oh yeah I’m body positive yeah! But I don’t think you should be morbidly obese… no that’s bad and unhealthy….”
- It isn’t your place to determine based on someones body whether or not they’re healthy. And by assuming a fat person is “morbidly obese” (can I just note that I think it’s interesting that we only associate the word ‘morbid’ with obesity? Funny that you never hear of morbid thinness or morbid anything else- but that we use it to stigmatize fat people so that in our minds it’s ok to shame them because we’ve decided that they’re all deathly unhealthy) or in critical health is fat shaming. Because you’re taking it upon yourself to assume that a fat person is unhealthy based on their body. You cannot assume anything about anyone based on their body– you cannot assume that a fat person is unhealthy, you cannot assume that a thin person is anorexic, you cannot assume that a muscular person is fit or that a trim person is the idyllic picture of (your version of) health— it’s just not your fucking place.
- Your standards of health, just like your standards of beauty, do not apply to everyone.
- You cannot gauge someone’s health by their body, their appearance, or their weight.
- What is this picture of health that you’re even basing your idea that fat people are all unhealthy on? Health doesn’t have an image- there is not an ideal. We need to fucking separate “health” from “body type.” Just because I’m thin does not mean I’m healthy. Actually, I myself am decidedly unhealthy. But people look at me and assume I probably eat ok and work out- why? Because I’m thin and the mental correlation with most people is that thin = healthy and that healthy = you work out, exercise, and “eat right.” But hey: there is no one way to be healthy. There is no one way to eat “right.” THERE IS NOT A UNIVERSAL ONE SIZE FITS ALL VERSION OF WHAT “HEALTHY” OR “HEALTH” IS.
- Accepting fat bodies does not mean you get to determine what kind of fat is ok to accept. There is no “right kind of fat.” You take it all- every single body type, every size, every degree of fat, every degree of skinny- or you take none of it. You cannot pick and choose.
My end point being: I don’t think you can say that you’re body positive but then pick and choose what bodies types are acceptable to be positive about and which ones you can still discriminate against based on your own perception of what “healthy” looks like.
Among 35 major national print publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, men had 81 percent of the quotes in stories about abortion, the research group said Thursday, while women had 12 percent, and organizations had 7 percent.
In stories about birth control, men scored 75 percent of the quotes, with women getting 19 percent and organizations getting 6 percent. Stories about Planned Parenthood had a similar ratio, with men getting 67 percent, women getting 26 percent, and organizations getting 7 percent.
Women fared a bit better in stories about women’s rights, getting 31 percent of the quotes compared with 52 percent for men and 17 percent for organizations.
I don’t know if rape jokes encourage rape culture. I don’t care. You still shouldn’t tell them.
Statistically, if you have told a rape joke to a group of more than five people, one of the people you told it to was a rape survivor, possibly of multiple rapes. They will not necessarily disclose this to you; rape apologism is endemic in society and most rape survivors are cautious about whom they tell. Some may even be too ashamed of their rape to admit it to anyone, or because of rape-minimizing narratives like “men can’t be raped” and “I consented to oral, so I couldn’t have been raped” may not admit it even to themselves. The fact remains: if you’ve told dozens of rape jokes in your life, then you have almost certainly told a joke that minimizes or trivializes rape in front of a survivor.
And if you put as your Facebook status “I totally raped at Halo today” for your two hundred Facebook friends to see, statistically, you have just reminded thirty-three people of one of the worst experiences of their entire lives.
To describe how well you did at a video game.
Ok one last thing about body image/ acceptance campaigns then I’ll shut up:
Have you ever noticed that they primarily target heavy girls or drastically thin, anorexic girls?
That seems pretty dumb to me that they only focus on these two extremes of the spectrum when the majority of young girls fall somewhere in the middle. And ones that only focus on bigger girls: god I feel like you’re implying that bigger girls need more help accepting their body than others- which kind of implies that there’s something wrong with bigger girls? Like the media assumes anyone past a size 10 must have this horrible self image and therefore needs to be told “HEY GIRL, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL- LOVE YOURSELF!!! REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES!”
And for that matter, who the fuck are you to tell me what a real woman is? Are you saying a size 2 isn’t a real woman? That title is reserved only for women with wide hips and ample breasts? No sorry it doesn’t work like that. It’s really annoying that a lot of campaigns directed at empowering bigger women can’t seem to do it without degrading thin women. Because we’re all on the same playing field, we’re all women. Our body type doesn’t determine how much of a woman we are, and instead of waging this war between thin girls and bigger girls- campaigns should treat us like we are equals. Because we are. Women have individual struggles-double standards about body types to fight- and stereotypes to break down- but we are equals.
Being supportive of body equality and acceptance and empowering bigger women should not equate to degrading and shaming slender or thin women
Recently a follower told me that my ripping on Urban Outfitters was obnoxious. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that. Actually I get told fairly often things to the effect of “oh you just don’t like them because you want to be different and sound smart.” And I totally see why you would think that, and admittedly, I’m obnoxious about it.
I’ve made a few posts before about why I dislike Urban Outfitters so much, namely this response to an ask. But I wanted to elaborate a little.
So I’ll start from the bottom up. Urban Outfitters- a company which offers cool hip clothes with a progressive liberal attitude, right?
Yeah not really.
Meet Richard Hayne.
In 1970 Hayne and his wife founded Urban Outfitters. They have since branched out to open Free People and Anthropologie. He is the current president and CEO of said companies.
He’s also a staunch right conservative. Him and his wife donated 13,000 dollars to Rick Santorum. He’s also, unfortunately, the #262 richest person in the United States according to the 2008 Forbes 400 list (all of this information is well documented across the internet, and can be found on Hayne’s own Wikipedia page.)
Hayne is also openly anti-gay marriage, in 2008 he personally pulled a pro-gay tee shirt from Urban Outfitter’s shelves:
This is the tee shirt in question. Urban pulled it from their shelves after a week siting ”too much bad press” regarding the garment. However, when the designer Tara Littman went to look for the “bad press” she could find no more than one blog post dissing the shirt. Read about the incident here.
And recently, Urban Outfitters sold a decidedly distasteful transphobic greeting card:
To my knowledge it has since been pulled from the site and is no longer available for purchase, but for a company whose image entails a “forward thinking” “progressive” attitude, their actions seem to embody the complete opposite.
While I’m talking about Urban selling merchandise displaying shitty messages: I think it’s worth making note of their anti-woman and racist inventory of the past.
In 2010 Urban Outfitters sold this tee shirt which had “Eat less” emblazoned on it. In a day and age where some 10-15% of the population has some kind of serious eating disorder, I don’t think I have to explain why this was an irresponsible, if not wreckless, shirt to sell to teen girls.
Urban sold this shirt in September and while it’s not as blatantly offensive as “eat less” it’s pretty anti-woman (which isn’t all that surprising coming from a company run by extremely conservative Republicans) and promotes shitty behavior while also trying to make it look cute. So- I don’t know, it bothered me.
Ok now let’s talk about racism.
I believe they apologized for it and blamed it on a web formatting error, but as this article so perfectly put it:
“Fine, Urban Outfitters: you’re not racist, just careless. But you can’t blame anyone for assuming, considering UO’s history of controversy”
I won’t spend too much longer on the careless and controversial things they’ve sold because going through it all would take a very long time, but I would like to talk about something Urban did on numerous occasions (along with many other clothing retailers, like Forever 21) that’s very racist:
labeling apparel as “Navajo”
The folowing articles perfectly articulate why labeling products as “Navajo” is offensive and wrong:
In the first article, an open letter by Sasha Houston Brown, she laid down why she was offended by the merchandise:
In all seriousness, as a Native American woman, I am deeply distressed by your company’s mass marketed collection of distasteful and racially demeaning apparel and décor. I take personal offense to the blatant racism and perverted cultural appropriation your store features this season as “fashion.”
All too often industries, sports teams and ignorant individuals legitimize racism under the guise of cultural “appreciation”. There is nothing honorable or historically appreciative in selling items such as the Navajo Print Fabric Wrapped Flask, Peace Treaty Feather Necklace, Staring at Stars Skull Native Headdress T-shirt or the Navajo Hipster Panty. These and the dozens of other tacky products you are currently selling referencing Native America make a mockery of our identity and unique cultures.
She also points out that falsely labeling merchandise as ‘Navajo’ when it is not, is against the law:
“The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-644) is a truth-in-advertising law that prohibits misrepresentation in marketing of Indian arts and crafts products within the United States. It is illegal to offer or display for sale, or sell any art or craft product in a manner that falsely suggests it is Indian produced, an Indian product, or the product of a particular Indian or Indian Tribe or Indian arts and crafts organization, resident within the United States. If a business violates the Act, it can face civil penalties or can be prosecuted and fined up to $1,000,000”.
Urban issued an apology and renamed the products but never admitted that they were wrong in the first place.
The cultural appropriation of Native American garments for the sake of fashion is a problem not new or specific to Urban Outfitters but I do feel as though they perpetuate it by continuing to sell apparel which mimics and bastardizes native wear.
Now let’s look at a few cases of Urban Outfitters stealing and copying original work:
The most famous instance was in 2011 when popular Etsy vendor Tru.Che, miss Stevie Koerner, saw that Urban Outfitters had quite literally made and sold carbon copies of her easily recognizable “I heart destination” necklaces.
Hers is on the right, Urban’s version is on the left.
The accusations of thievery went viral, trending on twitter, appearing on countless blogs, and the story was eventually picked up by the Washing Post, who noted that this wasn’t the first time Urban had ripped off an independent designer.
(in the case of miss Koerner’s jewelry line it could not legally be proven that the design was a copy, she did not sue, and Urban eventually pulled the necklaces.)
Johnny Cupcakes on the left, Urban’s ripoff on the right
In 2004 Urban outfitters asked for some samples from Johnny Cupcakes, an independent clothing brand based out of Boston. The impression was that they were considering carrying some of the label’s shirts, however Urban decided not to carry any of the shirts and never returned the samples. Two years later, in 2006, they put out and sold the tee shirt featured in the above right. A visible copy of Johnny’s design. No legal action was taken.
There are so many instances of Urban stealing work that instead of talking about it all I’ll just link you:
Now I’m going to talk about what I hate most about Urban Outfitters, and they aren’t alone in this, but that’s no excuse to practice it nonetheless: the utilization sweatshop and child labor. This is something that I find completely inexcusable of any company to practice, I’ve talked about it a bit here and here.
Urban Outfitters outsources their clothing from sweatshops overseas, there has been some (but not much) evidence found that factories of theirs in China utilized child labor. Though there is evidence that UO buys cotton from suppliers who obtained it by means of forced child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields and uses said cotton in their garments (Aeropostale and Forever 21 are guilty of this as well.)
In 2008, LongView Funds, a mutual funds company with large shares of Urban Outfitters, urged them [UO] to adopt what is called “international labor standards.” According to Wikipeia, this is what that entails:
International labor standards refer to conventions agreed upon by international actors, resulting from a series of value judgments, set forth to protect basic worker rights, enhance workers’ job security, and improve their terms of employment on a global scale. The intent of such standards, then, is to establish a worldwide minimum level of protection from inhumane labor practices through the adoption and implementation of said measures. From a theoretical standpoint, it has been maintained, on ethical grounds, that there are certain basic human rights that are universal to mankind. Thus, it is the aim of international labor standards to ensure the provision of such rights in the workplace, such as against workplace aggression, bulling, discrimination and gender inequality on the other hands for working diversity, workplace democracy and empowerment.
However, UO refused to adopt and disclose a code of conduct based on basic, internationally-recognized human rights (i.e.: they declined to adopt international labor standards.) They instead released a statement saying that they “expect[ed] suppliers to adhere to child-labor laws.”
So there you have it. I hate Urban Outfitters. I hate their business model, I hate the people running it, I hate their racism, I hate that they steal work, and most of all I hate their use of unethical labor. And you know what? I’m going to be obnoxious about it. Because I think UO is a really shitty company. Does that mean i think everyone who shops there is shitty? No. Do I think everyone who works there is shitty? No. Do I hate all their clothing? No.
I don’t think you should shop there, in fact I would encourage you not to. But where you shop is your choice and I fully respect and understand your choices even if they are different than my own. If you really like UO but are maybe questioning shopping there I would encourage you to check out this list of ethical alternatives to Urban Outfitters.
I know this post will come across as obnoxious and even self righteous, please know that is not my intention. If you want to shop at Urban Outfitters by all means do so, my aim isn’t to be judgmental of anyone who does. I really just think and believe that consumers have a right to know about where they’re shopping.
And just for the record, UO may be a shitty company but they aren’t alone. I’ve made a post before about why I dislike Forever 21 so much, and:
along with Guess, Walmart, Target- the list goes on and on. Even American Apparel, a company that I’ve bought from in the past but am reconsidering supporting, has a seedy history.
This was long and rambly but yeah anyway I plan to stay very obnoxious when it comes to things I think are wrong.
You know what I find really ironic about the Invisible Children?
Is that- not that their cause, in theory, isn’t a commendable one- but that the children they aim to protect, ones threatened by the LRA (which is not thought to be operating in North Uganda at this time) aren’t invisible at all. The threat of the LRA is well documented and fairy publicized.
The real invisible children at this point are those in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the presence of the LRA is actually felt right now.
And beyond that, the children who suffer in great numbers without much public interest from the Western hemisphere are those suffering from nodding disease, which effects some 3,000 in Uganda alone and has elluded the medical and sciene community, having no cure.
So, I don’t know, there are obviously a ton of problems with Invisible Children, but I think it’s funny how they seem to pick and choose which children they want to focus on. While I don’t know enough about it all to form a very solid opinion I would think that it’s because it’s a whole lot easier to make manipulative propaganda and pseudo documentaries that inflict white guilt and make you sympathize with children affected by wars and war criminals than it is children affected by a disease.
I think it’s because Diet soda is usually marketed towards women… So they made a campaign to market it towards men. Personally I think it’s funny.
I just don’t think it’s funny?
And by thinking it’s not funny I’m probably a humorless bitch but come on it’s literally the most sexist gender scripted commercial on television since the 60s and it’s not even funny like the writing isn’t funny IT HAS NO REDEEMING QUALITIES IT’S ONLY PERPETUATING REALLY DUMB GENDER STEREOTYPES WHICH MAKES ME UPSET
I think you can market a drink to men without bashing women and being sexist and stupid