Look out Goop, Revolve is on its way to take your spot as the least relatable brand on the planet. In their latest “wait, what?” moment, Revolve released, and subsequently removed a sweatshirt with the quote “Being fat is not beautiful, it’s an excuse.” Obviously, the internet was quick to call them out for their sh*tty decision making, because this isn’t 2007 anymore and graphic tees with questionable slogans being sold at Abercrombie is no longer a thing that anyone has time for. *Kourtney Kardashian voice* There’s people that are dying. Oh and, just to make this more of a face palm situation, Lena Dunham, Cara Delevingne and a bunch of other models are involved. Because, of course.
Luckily, queen of shade Tess Holliday snagged some receipts and publicly called out Revolve before the sweatshirt was taken down.
— Tess Holliday 🥀 (@Tess_Holliday) September 12, 2018
According to Fashionista, the product was one of five sweatshirts that were created in a collection for LPA. Each one included something terrible that was said to Lena Dunham, Emily Ratajkowski, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Paloma Elsesser (who was the one told that being fat is not beautiful, it’s an excuse). It was meant to be a campaign addressing cyberbullying, as exhibited by the barely visible Instagram handles on the sweatshirts and literally nothing else. Like, seriously, someone actually thought it was a good idea to create that sweatshirt, throw it on a thin model, and not explain the point behind it. Smart!
In the most on-brand statement of her life, Lena Dunham posted this painting to her Instagram with a long caption explaining the intention behind the collection while distancing herself from the project and announcing donation to the charities of Emily, Cara, Suki and Paloma’s choices. She also called out Revolve and suggested they cough up some money to try and fix this mess. Revolve later told People that it would be making a $20,000 contribution to Girls Write Now, the charity that the collaboration was originally intended to benefit.
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For months I’ve been working on a collaboration with LPA through parent company @revolve – sweatshirts that highlight quotes from prominent women who have experienced internet trolling & abuse. This is a cause very close to my heart and the proceeds were meant to benefit charities that help young women by empowering them to express themselves through writing and art. Without consulting me or any of the women involved, @revolve presented the sweatshirts on thin white women, never thinking about the fact that difference and individuality is what gets you punished on the Internet, or that lack of diversity in representation is a huge part of the problem (in fact, the problem itself.) As a result, I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way. I am deeply disappointed in @revolve’s handling of a sensitive topic and a collaboration rooted in reclaiming the words of internet trolls to celebrate the beauty in diversity and bodies and experiences that aren’t the industry norm. *** I’d like to especially extend my love and support to @palomija, whose quote was the first to be promoted and mangled. She’s a hero of mine. Like me, she gave her quote in good faith and shared her vulnerability in order to support arts education and to spread her message of empowerment, and she wasn’t consulted in the marketing. Not an ounce of negativity should be sent her way. *** My only goal on this planet is to empower women through art and dialogue. I’m grateful to every woman who shared a quote and so disappointed that our words were not honored. As a result, I will be making a donation to the charity of every woman’s choice who was wronged with me and I hope that @revolve will join me with a contribution of their own. *** P.S. This Rubens painting makes me happy because it’s about women joining in love, but he didn’t recognize diversity at all- he just loved curvy butts. Problematic fave.
I’m pretty conflicted here. I mean, the intention behind the collaboration definitely sounds cool as like, an initial idea. It kind of reminds me of every time I’ve ever been like, “oh my god, I have an idea for an app/podcast/other sizable project I’m going to realize is a bad idea once I start actually thinking it through.” Like, yeah it would be great to have a collection of clothing that addresses internet trolling. But maybe, Revolve, using a skinny model and selling a sweatshirt that says “Being fat is not beautiful, it’s an excuse” is a miss, considering I can’t imagine anybody except hateful fat-shamers who would dare wear this shirt out in public? IDK, I’m not a professional! Also, if a sweatshirt needs a long-winded explanation to not appear as offensive, maybe it’s just offensive.
Images: tess_holliday / Twitter; lenadunham / Instagram