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A popular US department store chain has been criticised for its response in a row over “offensive” dinner plates.
Macy’s Inc., which owns over 750 departments stores in 44 US states, was called out for selling a plate which made reference to portion sizes.
The offending crockery featured three concentric rings of varying sizes. The smallest had the words “skinny jeans” written on it, while the largest read: “mom jeans” – ostensibly suggesting eating less helps you fit into tighter jeans.
It was sold as part of the STORY at Macy’s line, a limited-edition offering sold at 36 Macy’s stores.
But the product hit a bum note with some consumers, and one woman, podcast host Alie Ward, called Macy’s out on Twitter for selling the item.
— Alie Ward (@alieward) July 21, 2019
The tweet has divided opinion, with some backing Ward – saying the plates were “body shaming” and could “fuel eating disorders”.
This is a toxic message, promoting even greater women beauty standards and dangerous health habits. These expectations can actually kill someone, and I know someone it has. @Macys, remove this from all of your stores and denounce the manufacturer.
— Anna L Puchkoff (@AnnaPuchkoff) July 21, 2019
These labeled plates are AWFUL and I am glad Macy’s has agreed to remove them. This fuels eating disorders.
— Susan Feldkamp (@SusanFeldkamp) July 22, 2019
All these people trying to defend the shitty design... lol imagine thinking a circle labelled "skinny jeans" big enough to hold like two chicken nuggets is demonstrating "healthy portion control".... The only thing it's teaching is body shaming, and nothing to do with health.
— cheese steak (@totodialed) July 22, 2019
Somebody imagined these, pitched them, and then they went through multiple levels of approval before being manufactured and ending up in that store.
All of that is to say, what the fuck?
— Steve Lemke (@srlemke) July 21, 2019
The post even reached the attention of body positivity activist Jamella Jamil, who communicated in no uncertain terms how she felt about them.
Jamil, the founder of the “I weigh” movement, has been at the centre of a number of body-shaming rows in recent years, like calling out a tabloid publication for calling Queen Latifah a “beached whale”.
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) July 22, 2019
Almost exactly 12 hours later, the department store giant confirmed it had removed the plates from all STORY at Macy’s locations.
Hi Jameela. We agree that we missed the mark on this product. We apologize. It was removed yesterday from all STORY at Macy's locations soon after we received the complaint.
— Macy's (@Macys) July 22, 2019
And while the move might have satisfied some people, others have since criticised the chain for its rapid response.
Some are saying they would have liked to buy the plates – defending them as “light-hearted” and “fun”.
Others have called the row an example of a “snowflake” overreaction. Snowflake is a derogatory term for someone who is “overly sensitive or as feeling entitled to special treatment or consideration”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Some products we carry are light-hearted and fun. We certainly hope anyone struggling with portion control gets advice from a doctor, not a plate they bought from us. --- What Macy's should have said.
— Carl Gustav (@CaptYonah) July 22, 2019
Here come all the “I’m never offended” snowflakes that are crying over a plate that they never even thought of buying
— dylan (@daz_nuts) July 22, 2019
Here is an idea that you might not have thought of,
If you don't like them, don't buy them.
I'm so sick of people trying to get things banned just because they don't like it.
If enough people don't buy the company will pull it themselves.
I think it's funny.
— GatorMike402🇺🇸🐊 (@MichealHill18) July 23, 2019
I’m a mom and I think these are funny. Has everyone list their sense of humor? If you don’t like them, don’t buy them.
— Cynthia (@CynthZee) July 23, 2019
Well, believe it or not, most people aren’t out there searching for things to be outraged by, and might actually want to buy those plates. The world doesn’t need to walk on eggshells because you’re made of glass. Solution to your made up problem: don’t buy the dishes.
— TommyJoe Ratliff (@TommyJoeRatliff) July 22, 2019
Imagine being offended by this
— 5 O’Clock Shadow (@5OClockShadow_) July 22, 2019
Earlier this year, Piers Morgan sparked a similar conversation about so-called “snowflakes”.
The outspoken ‘Good Morning Britain’ waded into a row over a GCSE Maths question which asked schoolchildren to count calories.
Exam board Pearson Edexcel was forced to defend a question featured in its paper, which candidates sat last week, after one pupil left the room while the assessment was in process – but Morgan called the situation “nonsense”.