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Why the Lilly Pulitzer Controversy is Important

An online article on the website for The Cut showcased pictures of the headquarters of Lilly Pulitzer located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The pictures show an intimate look at the designer’s offices and the creative processes that happen behind the scenes. They showcase a bright, colorful office that looks like a fun and positive place to work. However, one picture sticks out above the rest. It shows two drawn pictures of over weight women. One says “Just another day of…FAT, WHITE, and HIDEIOUS…you should probably just kill yourself”. The other tells the reader “Put it down carb face”.

The website states “This image shows the personal illustrations of an employee not pictured in this story”. Hopefully, this means this office does not have an office mentality of this message that affects all employees. Even though this was created for a particular person, this has sparked controversy all over the web and is now a reflection of how women treat body image.

Some may argue that this was probably created by a staff member as diet motivation and that many women practice the same thing. Therefore, if so many people do it, why is this picture an issue? The problem is that this is an unhealthy and harmful practice. Looking at these pictures and sayings could cause serious body issues and low self-esteem. The focus and statement of these drawing that being over weight is bad and makes a person ugly. This is simply not true and is not the message that women need to be putting out there or receiving. These pictures are basically bullying the reader to believing that if they are having weight issues then they are ugly and according to one of the pictures “should probably just kill yourself”. This is unhealthy and sad when there are so many positive ways to motivate yourself to eat better and exercise.

I believe that it is important for young women, and women of all ages, to understand that positive body image doesn’t mean you have to be certain size. It’s okay to be any size, as long as your are happy and healthy. There needs to be a societal revolution that puts health and well being of women before weight. Health needs to be the focus, with weight being the result. Healthy women come in all shapes and sizes, so body shaming needs to END. Living with good eating habits and regular exercise is not only a positive way to lower weight if that what you want, but it also boosts your mood. Everyone should be free to deal with their health and/or weight in their own way, but that place is not in the workplace.

While, the brand Lilly Pulitzer should not directly be accused of fat shaming. I do think that drawings with such negative context should no be on display in a working environment where everyone can see them. Although, it may have been meant for one particular employee, it could cause other employees to feel negatively about their own body images. It simply isn’t office place appropriate. My hope is that this controversy will help other businesses evaluate their environment and how they are treating similar issues.

Let me know your thoughts on controversy and don’t forget to like, share, and follow to keep update on future posts!

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