The Range has decided to discontinue its weight loss coin saver products in the shape of a bikini and wedding dress, after being publicly called out for sexism and body shaming.
The retail giant also pledged that it won't be stocking them again, the BBC reports.
The first item had the words 'Countdown To My Bikini Body' written on it, while the second had 'It Could Only Take 10lbs To Drop A Dress Size' (this one with £1 slots for every pound of weight lost up to 40lb, or 18kg).
Emma Conway, a digital creator, known on social media by her 148k Instagram followers as brummymummyof2, posted her outrage at what she discovered while shopping, with two pictures for proof found here.
"Dear @therangeuk," her caption reads. "I just popped into one of your shops as I love your garden stuff. And was excited to get some bits and bobs. Imagine my shock when I saw two signs. One saying ‘Countdown To My Bikini Body’ and the other stating ‘It Could Only Take 10lbs To Drop A Dress Size’.
"Now I understand people want to lose weight for a variety of reasons. Not an issue. But I asked if there was one for men. Maybe a ‘Lose Chunk To Fit In Your Trunks’. There wasn’t. It was just for WOMEN. To get a bikini body. And to fit in a smaller wedding dress.
She said she left the shop "shaking" at what a large chain had stocked in 2022.
Conway added she felt it was "feeding into the narrative that WOMEN need to be smaller".
"To drop a dress size. To put a sign in their houses which they would look at each day. To help them get ready to go to the beach," she listed off, as examples.
"The motivation is not to get fit and healthy. But to shrink themselves. Remember ladies we need to be tiny."
Following plus-size women's wear label Simply Be hitting back at Protein World's advert, which depicted a slim, toned, blonde model in a bikini asking, 'Are you Beach Body Ready?', more and more people are using the phrases 'Every Body Is a Bikini Body' and 'Every Body is Beach Body Ready' to oppose the harmful message.
Echoing this, Conway added, "I know some people may not see a problem. And The Range obviously doesn’t. But anyone reading this remember how to get a bikini body is to… buy a bikini. And put it on your body."
Many showed their support, including author, writer and podcast host Alison Perry who said the products "could trigger someone and set them off down a path of dieting or disordered eating". Dr Sarah Vohra (known as themindmedic online) added, "I think you've hit the nail on the head with the caption."
However, some people who joined in the conversation, with the post now gaining nearly 1,000 comments, didn't have as much as a problem, though thought the product could be tweaked.
"It's not the product itself I have a problem with, it's the fact like you said they were aimed at women only," wrote one user. "Is there no need for men to loose weight and look like a 'hunk in their trunks' then?"
The Range told the BBC in a statement, "We appreciate that every 'body' is 'bikini ready' all the time, but some of our customers have found this a fun way to help them reach a goal. This product has, however, now been discontinued and we will not be stocking it again."
Following this decision, Conway posted online, 'We did it guys. YOU DID IT Because of your healthy discussion on my post," adding, "I’m sobbing. I can’t believe we together made a change!"
Many followers shared the excitement, commenting, "It’s wonderful seeing your influence being used to educate such a big company, for the safety and well being of vulnerable people", "Fantastic news, these items should never have been stocked. Hopefully this will make the big brands think first in future!" and "this will help more people than you know".
Conway described some of the comments she's received as "heartbreaking", including from mothers of children recovering from eating disorders and brides distraught about not 'getting slim' for their big day, who will no longer have to see the items.
She also emphasised, "Let me stress once again. I am not saying people shouldn’t lose weight in a healthy way. I was pointing out the inequality of these signs. Perpetuating the belief women need to look a certain way to be beautiful."
Healthy tips to lose weight, as recommended by the NHS, include not skipping breakfast, eating regular meals, eating plenty of fruit and beg, being more active, drinking plenty of water, eating high fibre foods, reading food labels, using a smaller plate, not banning foods, not stocking junk food, cutting down on alcohol and planning your meals.
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