Thursday, 26 February 2015

Us VS Them.

Peeps, I'm mad. I'm just going to get straight to it. 

If you happen to follow Taking Shape on Instagram, or Twitter, you probably saw the absolute clanger of a PR stunt, and the subsequent (and throughly deserved) follower shit storm that ensued. 

For those of you not in the loop allow me to fill you in.
TS saw it perfectly ok to build a "bird watching booth" outside London Fashion Week in order to do a bit of "skinny bird watching". The 'skinny birds' in question being the runway models. 

If you're anything like me you probably thought "what the [insert chosen expletive] is this?"

Well, for me, this is everything you do wrong in plus size PR. Where does one even begin?
Aside from it being incredibly dismissive to refer to women as "birds", it's body shaming and creating an "us vs them" mentality. Something we, as the fat community, are desperately trying to fight against.

I am not for a moment suggesting that this kind of body shaming is on par with what fat people experience. Not for a second. What I am saying is that, in order to be accepted as fat people, there needs to be a dissolution of a body ideal. Upholding one body type over another is simply the same fight, with thin taking fat's place. Simply put this crap needs to stop.

This othering of bodies, of objectifying women, is another battle we face. This kind of objectification is not "tongue- in-cheek" it's just an outright cheek. You're not being edgy by 'sticking it to the skinnies' and 'showing them how it feel's, all you're doing is playing into the hands of the same archetypal system that seeks to oppress.

Even sadder is, despite much criticism, there has been no apology. Not even an acknowledgement of the criticism. Nothing. Just carrying on as though nothing has happened.

I was due to attend a blogger party this weekend at a local TS store but I simply refuse to support a company that upholds these ideals. There are plenty of plus size brands out there who listen to customers, and have great relationships with bloggers, who are far more deserving of support and promotion. Let's start talking with our wallets and see if they start to listen.


  1. I saw this too and it's very ill-advised. For a second a part of me said 'That's Australian humour for you!' but when they are sharing their views with thousands of people, some of whom might be young and/or vulnerable, they really need to do better.

    I agree that the 'them vs us' bollocks does no one any favours. All bodies are good bodies.

  2. There's too much of a trend of brands trying to be 'hip' and relatable instead of being, y'know, a clothing brand.

  3. I was very gutted when I saw this as I have had a nice relation to Taking Shape. I can't believe what their advisors were thinking about when they thought this would be a good idea and create less divide between people no matter how they look :(

    1. We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. What did it for me was, despite the outcry from fat and thin people alike was there was NO apology. "Sorry you were offended" isn't an apology.

      We all make mistakes, it's what we do with them that counts. That's why I will be avoiding them. Own it, move on. But to pretend it didn't happen or people just didn't "get it" is tacky and poor.