Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kohl's: We Expect Better From You

In general, Kohl's has a better track record than retailers like American Apparel, Hollister, Urban Outfitters, TopShop and others who consistently promote a thin-bias that is weight-stigmatizing and incorporates messages of shame for those who don't meet a narrow guideline of body acceptability (the type that 5% of women and girls possess naturally).

That may be why we are so disappointed in this offering from the weekly catalog from January15-25, 2015.

(As eating disorder activists we are careful to note at all times the difference between eating disorders and disordered eating as EDs are biological, brain-based illnesses and disordered eating is both more common and is not a pathology. The images we are discussing do NOT cause eating disorders. They ARE harmful to all of us and do contribute to a toxic societal environment that can make recovery from an eating disorder difficult).

How is the message on this graphic tee harmful?
  • It promotes calorie-burning as a moral imperative.
  • It encourages exercise as a calorie-burning, weight loss activity rather than one important for general health and fitness.
  • It sends a message that a female should elevate calorie-burning before all other activities (actually, it's reminiscent of the Maria Kang What's Your Excuse? debacle).
  • It sends a message that all those who don't fit a narrow stereotype do so because they are lazy excuse-makers. 
We hope you will join us on Twitter in letting @Kohls understand that #IEDAction is #NotBuyingIt when they choose to market a message to us and to our daughters that promotes a false ideal that an a ability to burn calories defines girls and women. It does not. 

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