More Tone-Deaf Marketing, More Degrading Women?

(inversion by Anderson Graphics)

"The Perfect Body" is not an image we present uncritically.

With the world pushing for a stop to bullying, one would expect that the sexism and harassment towards women would slowly fade away.  However, we still live in a world where women are objectified as well as targeted for crude jokes.  This week’s offenders are two retailers not normally mentioned in the same sentence: Wal-Mart and Victoria’s Secret.

Wal-Mart’s website is a popular place to shop online to purchase about anything imaginable. With its easy, navigable categories, and specific searches, one can find whatever he or she desires- including a section dedicated to “fat girl costumes”?  That’s correct.

On Monday the 27th, shoppers who happened to visit the Halloween section of the Wal-Mart website were shocked to find that the “plus” in “plus girl costumes” category was replaced with fat.  Once people started noticing the rude title, they quickly jumped onto Twitter, filing complaints.  With the hashtag “fatgirlcostumes” trending, Walmart swiftly jumped on to reply that they took down the name, and mentioned that it should have never been there in the first place. Walmart also has no idea how the title even got onto the site.

In other news, the popular lingerie brand, Victoria Secret, was under attacked for their recent advertisement concerning their new line of bras, “body” in the UK.  However, the advertisement may have been more subliminal about the women who were wearing the apparel. The ad reads “The Perfect ‘Body’” and along the background are models who sport the bras, with the only other article of clothing being matching underwear.  But these models are far from plus sized.  They are all quite thin, have a defined core, and proudly showing off their bikini bods. Petitions have started to put an end to this campaign, especially with a study showing that over ten million women are depressed about their body image. But with ads like these, that statistic may not be as shocking, as young girls are already being exposed to what the “perfect body” is.  Change.org’s petition currently has over 12,600 signatures and are hoping for about 2,500 more.

Although events like these are still popping up, there’s still hope. With websites being able to be linked everywhere through social media, people have been speaking out against the body image that women are pressured into looking like. Hopefully with the support of millions, women will finally be able to say they feel comfortable in their own skin.