Body positive model Tess Holliday called out online retailer Revolve for selling what many are deeming a fat-shaming sweatshirt.
The model, 33, captured a screenshot of the piece before the site seemingly took it down and tweeted it out for her fans to see. “LOLLLLL @REVOLVE y’all are a mess,” Holliday wrote.
The cropped sweatshirt, which is shown being worn by a sample size model, read, “BEING FAT IS NOT BEAUTIFUL IT’S AN EXCUSE.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Revolve said, “This morning, images of a forth coming LPA collection were prematurely released on Revolve.com. The capsule collection – originally conceived by LPA alongside Lena Dunham, Emily Ratajkowski, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Paloma Elsesser – was set to debut tomorrow as a direct commentary on the modern day “normality” of cyber-bullying and the shared desire to create a community for those most affected by the epidemic. Proceeds were set to benefit ‘Girls Write Now’, a charity focused on mentoring underserved young women and helping them find their voices and tell their stories through writing.”
“The prematurely released images featured on Revolve.com was not only included without context of the overall campaign but regrettably featured one of the pieces on a model who’s size was not reflective of the piece’s commentary on body positivity. We at Revolve sincerely apologize to all those involved – particularly Lena, Emily, Cara, Suki and Paloma – our loyal customers, and the community as a whole for this error.”
“The collection has been pulled. We are proud to donate $20,000 to “Girls Write Now” in the hopes that those who need it can still benefit from what was to be a meaningful, insightful and impactful collaboration by LPA,” the statement concludes.
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As first reported by Fashionista, the sweatshirt appears to be part of a collection of pullovers from LPA, which all feature shaming quotes reportedly said to stars like Lena Dunham (“Horrible Result of Modern Feminism”) and Cara Delevingne (“Too boney to be boned”). The “Being Fat Is Not Beautiful, It’s An Excuse” style was allegedly directed at curvy model Paloma Elsesser.
However, the brand’s message of inclusivity seemed to be lost. Holliday’s followers quickly began calling out the brand for creating a piece of clothing with that message to begin with and Revolve for putting it on a sample size model.
“Lemme guess! This shirt was designed to “encourage” people to lose weight but not make fun of them. BS! Can’t wait for the excuses!” one Twitter user said.
Another person said, “How about people with Cushing’s syndrome people that are poor people with it as a side effect of their medications… I hate these type of people that thing it’s so simple as too why someone is overweight.”
Many people couldn’t image who would even purchase and wear the sweatshirt. “Imagine being that vain, self important and judgmental by wearing this,” one person tweeted. Someone else added, “I wouldn’t wear such a gross and ridiculous item of clothing neither would anyone with a brain cell. How degrading to your label. All the lovely lush women out there like @Tess_Holliday don’t need no excuse to be B-E-A-UTIFUL anyway!!”
Holliday has been a powerful voice in the body positivity movement and often speaks out about her own journey as a model.
“I’m at the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life now and it took me being the heaviest to finally love myself,” she said. “I was a US size 16 to 18 my entire life before I had Rylee [her first son, who she had at age 20]. I look back on those photos now and I don’t wish I was that size, but what I wish is that I loved myself 120 pounds ago.”