Urban Outfitters was a clothing store that girls my age have grown to love. As we shopped through the racks, checking price tags and sorrowfully putting the item back, we longed to wear their clothes, but also the brand image that came with it. However, recent controversy has sparked about a t-shirt Urban Outfitters has put on the market. As you can see in the image above, a model wears a shirt that states, “Eat Less.” This shirt encourages eating disorders and promotes negative body images for woman everywhere. I do not know what’s more appalling: the fact that Urban Outfitters has yet to comment on it, or the fact that it’s sold out. Women need to come together to fight products and ads like this, and support each other instead of supporting companies that use negative publicity to increase revenue.
This wasn’t the only time Urban Outfitters has used destructive words on clothing. More recently, they made a Kent State sweatshirt whose pattern was bloodstained. This horrific product invoked the University’s shooting back in 1970. In addition to these articles, they’ve had shirts that say “Depression” and antiwar scarves. Even though all of these products are insensitive and offensive, Urban Outfitters net income has increased by around $50 million this past year.
My purpose is to broadcast companies that I think have been doing a fantastic job of promoting positivity to women about their looks and inner-beauty. Dove has had an ongoing campaign in order to make women feel more comfortable in their skin. They use ordinary people in their advertisements and commercials in order to tell girls all over the world to stop comparing yourself to the media, and appreciate your own beauty. Another campaign that shocked me was Aerie’s promise to not Photoshop or Airbrush any of their models. Girls constantly think that what they see in a magazine or a commercial is what they have to look like in order to be pretty. This false body image is harmful to all girls. Heck, I’ve seen a slice of pizza be Photoshopped into a provocative image of a woman. Editors have so much power when it comes to the media, but they do not even realize how damaging their power can be.
A recent video went viral after a small, all-girl rock band endorsed a campaign for women of all ages to think that they’re enough. I encourage all of you to watch this powerful 3-minute clip of woman realize that it is what is on the inside that counts. The next step is to stop supporting businesses like Urban Outfitters that showcase harmful products, and instead encourage businesses that are helping girls every day to love their bodies and love themselves.