For Shame, Urban Outfitters

Jul 27, 2010

In the past, we’ve talked a lot about body image on this site because accepting your body, and focusing on health instead of weight, is a difficult thing for women to do.  Women and young girls are bombarded with a myriad of societal pressures about how we look/eat, and it is so hard to find a quiet place inside yourself where you can love and appreciate your body.  So no woman or girl needs anyone adding to the din…

and that is why bulls**T, like this tee shirt from Urban Outfitters, gets me so steamed.

Are you serious?  “Eat Less?”  That’s great.  Way to embrace social responsibility.  And while I would be happy to rip Urban apart with my bare hands, I don’t think the amount of cursing and swearing would be good for my image.  So I’ll just let actress Sophia Bush do it for me…

To promote starvation? To promote anorexia, which leads to heart disease, bone density loss, and a slew of other health problems, not least of all psychological issues that NEVER go away? Shame on you. I will no longer be shopping at your stores. And I will encourage the tens of thousands of female supporters I have to do the same. I have fought to boycott BP. I never imagined I would also be boycotting affordable fashion.

I shop at the Urban in Chinatown a lot for gifts and tees, but I think I’m done.  It’s too bad too, because I love the “Listen Jackass” notepads.

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  1. Sara says:

    I think Karen Carpenter just rolled over in her grave. Twenty-seven years of awareness down the drain in two shameful words.

  2. District Cut says:

    Perhaps first lady Michelle Obama should wear this tee to her next child obesity event. Just kidding.
    But seriously, kill me now for what I am about to say. The fact of the matter is, a lot of people, even perhaps most people, in America need to eat less. Americans are known for our oversized portions. Obviously this isn’t the most politically correct way to say it, but the message is load and clear . . . and right. America has a much larger obesity problem than it does with people who are underweight and starve themselves. The truth of the matter is, we all need to eat less, smaller portions.
    Now should I go jump off a bridge now or later?

  3. Sara says:

    I think Karen Carpenter just rolled over in her grave. Twenty-seven years of awareness down the drain in two shameful words.

  4. District Cut says:

    Perhaps first lady Michelle Obama should wear this tee to her next child obesity event. Just kidding.
    But seriously, kill me now for what I am about to say. The fact of the matter is, a lot of people, even perhaps most people, in America need to eat less. Americans are known for our oversized portions. Obviously this isn’t the most politically correct way to say it, but the message is load and clear . . . and right. America has a much larger obesity problem than it does with people who are underweight and starve themselves. The truth of the matter is, we all need to eat less, smaller portions.
    Now should I go jump off a bridge now or later?

  5. ES says:

    Thank you for posting this. I have always loved this store, for their clothes and their home accessories. BUT no more, this tshirt is disgusting!

  6. Megan says:

    Sophia’s comment about boycotting BP is a little screwy and I wish you’d cut it, but since that’s not the issue at hand, I say right on! The model in the photo could stand to down a few cheeseburgers herself – she looks tired and distinctly less than healthy, poor girl.

  7. KLo says:

    I’ve forwarded this link to all my female friends. Hopefully all your readers (and all our friends) will do the same.

  8. Katherine says:

    Wow. Seriously poor judgment call by Urban Outfitters.

  9. Maggie says:

    I appreciate that you’ve called attention to this. Women shouldn’t be afraid to have a healthy relationship with food – lots of fruits & vegetables, fiber, iron and calcium. Messages about eating should empower women (who else loves Hungry Girl?) to make smart choices and take care of themselves as part of building or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

  10. Bryan says:

    You wouldn’t say anything if it was a fat girl wearing the shirt..just sayin

  11. logical says:

    Americans eat too much and are generally fat. Eat less does not mean embrace a heroin chic look. Hello world, I’d like to introduce you all to the strawman.

  12. orange says:

    Oh come on…….more people in the USA really do need to eat less. Obesity is a far larger (no pun intended) problem than anorexia. The shirt is saying, “You want to look like me? Then eat less”. It’s a message to pass on the super sized fast food meal. Try eating smaller portions of healthier food. No one NEEDS to eat a “few cheeseburgers”. That definitely DOES NOT make a person healthy. Why does that message disturb people? Because it guilts them. Most people are overweight & unhealthy, and it’s so much easier to deny it and focus on the minority of anorexics when obesity is killing America. Funny how ironic shirts with adverts for FAST FOOD & JUNK FOOD don’t bother anyone.

  13. Megan says:

    It’s good that our friend orange has such a healthy attitude toward food…not. Let’s not kid ourselves, honey…the message on the t-shirt isn;t about good health, it’s about attractiveness. If the shirt said, in full, “Eat portion-controlled meals consisting of whole grains, fresh produce, and lean proteins, and do so not so you’ll look good but so that you’ll have more energy and will generally feel better” – if the shirt said all that, I’d be first in line for one. But to pretend that this is about anything other than looking good is just silly, so pass the burgers – with whole-wheat buns, lean ground beef, and plenty of lettuce, tomatoes and onion, of course.

  14. Belle says:

    The t-shirt doesn’t say Eat Healthy, it says Eat Less. And like Megan said, it’s not about health, it’s about attractiveness.

  15. Stephanie says:

    Apparently the shirt has been pulled from the website but not the store. Finally. What a horrible message to send to girls and women.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/04/eat-less-t-shirt-urban-outfitters_n_601096.html

  16. Sara says:

    I think Karen Carpenter just rolled over in her grave. Twenty-seven years of awareness down the drain in two shameful words.

  17. District Cut says:

    Perhaps first lady Michelle Obama should wear this tee to her next child obesity event. Just kidding.
    But seriously, kill me now for what I am about to say. The fact of the matter is, a lot of people, even perhaps most people, in America need to eat less. Americans are known for our oversized portions. Obviously this isn’t the most politically correct way to say it, but the message is load and clear . . . and right. America has a much larger obesity problem than it does with people who are underweight and starve themselves. The truth of the matter is, we all need to eat less, smaller portions.
    Now should I go jump off a bridge now or later?

  18. Belle says:

    Yes, there are obese people in America. Yes, people have forgotten to eat healthy. But is a t-shirt worn by teenage girls the best way to spread that message? I think not. I also don’t think that was the message Urban was sending.

  19. AT says:

    Aside from the obvious questions (such as my first reaction…”What the !@#$%) – Who would even buy this?

  20. A says:

    Didn’t they pull the shirt a month ago when people were talking about it?

  21. VA says:

    Sure, there are plenty of Americans who could stand to eat less. But that’s not who this shirt is speaking to. The uncountable number of young women with low self-esteem, poor body image, and disordered eating don’t need to be told to eat less – but that’s exactly who the message of the shirt is directed at.

    Anyone who thinks that this is a shirt about healthy portion control is monumentally naive.

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