Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Eat Less

It seems a new Urban Outfitters [UO] t-shirt has the entire fashion community in a tither. In an article on her blog, Sophia Bush (star of the CW's One Tree Hill) has vowed to boycott UO and has demanded an apology and a recall of the controversial t-shirt. You see a picture of the actual thing on her blog. Above you can see my take on it.

I do agree with Ms. Bush. The idea it conveys, though hopefully ironic, can have impact with the impressionable teens UO caters to.

Do I think that UO has the right under the first amendment to distribute these t-shirts? Yes. Do I think that the people at UO meant it ironically? Yes. Do I think it's a good idea to market "ironic" t-shirts like these to impressionable teens who already have enough body image issues? No.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a firm believer in the fact that it is possible to find humor in any (and I literally mean any) situation. This is probably why I appreciate comedians such as Kathy Griffin or Joan Rivers. However, when dealing with humor, you have to tailor it to be effective towards your audience. Instead of using the words "eat less", which could be interpreted as promoting unsafe weight-loss practices, UO should have used a t-shirt with a more clearly satiric message.

UO messed up, and they will undoubtedly pay for it, but they are, after all, a company, and companies have to answer directly to their customers. UO has the right to put out these t-shirts, but if they don't want to lose the business of "One Tree Hill" fans, then they'll have to stop selling them. Effectively, it's democracy at work... Certainly more directly effective than with our government.

Nostalgically Yours


  1. Wow that's ridiculous. Especially when they know the ages groups that buy from this, it's just not right. I can see the humor in it, but there's so many other things they can use to be funny than something like that. I think it's cool Sophia Bush (not just because her name is AWESOME) is speaking out against them and is that angry about it. Interesting post!

  2. It's horrible. I also agree with her. It doesn't look like being ironic. And most of the young girls are not able to understand the message as a satiric one.

    Great post!


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