Macy’s quickly pulled a product from shelves after an outcry from the left warned about encouraging eating disorders.
The retailer’s dinner plates, made by a brand called Pourtions, were pulled and an apology quickly issued after controversy erupted over the portion control circles on the dinnerware.
Plates featured circles labeled, “mom jeans,” “favorite jeans,” and “skinny jeans” in increasingly smaller rings, as seen in a tweet posted by science correspondent for the CBS series “Innovation Nation,” Alie Ward, who asked how to get the plates banned “in all 50 states.”
How can I get these plates from @Macys banned in all 50 states pic.twitter.com/1spntAluVl
— Alie Ward (@alieward) July 21, 2019
According to the Pourtions website, the plates were meant to provide “helpful — and hilarious — visual cues” to “spice up your dinner table, and your conversation.” They were being sold at Macy’s in-store concept shop, Story.
Hours after Ward’s tweet, the company replied.
“Hi, Alie — we appreciate you sharing this with us and agree that we missed the mark on this product,” Macy’s replied on Twitter. “It will be removed from all STORY at Macy’s locations.”
Hi, Alie — we appreciate you sharing this with us and agree that we missed the mark on this product. It will be removed from all STORY at Macy’s locations.
— Macy’s (@Macys) July 22, 2019
Ward applauded the spineless move but warned she would be keeping out an eagle eye to be sure the plates did not resurface.
I appreciate that; thanks for hearing and taking the feedback. Sidenote: if the surplus stock winds up in TJ Maxxs and Marshalls and Ross stores across America I’m gunna lose it again.
— Alie Ward (@alieward) July 22, 2019
Others triggered by words an images on dinner plates joined the backlash, decrying the “toxic message” sent by the product.
This is a toxic message, promoting even greater women beauty standards and dangerous health habits. These expectations can actually kill someone, and I know someone it has. @Macys, remove this from all of your stores and denounce the manufacturer.
— Anna L Puchkoff (@AnnaPuchkoff) July 21, 2019
When you spend your entire existence being told how to look so you can catch a man/have value, and shamed for the most natural things like gaining weight from things like pregnancy, or eating whatever you freaking like… these things aren’t “funny” they’re just exhausting.
— Rose DF (@_Astro_Nerd_) July 22, 2019
These labeled plates are AWFUL and I am glad Macy’s has agreed to remove them. This fuels eating disorders.
— Susan Feldkamp (@SusanFeldkamp) July 22, 2019
One Twitter user thought to improve the plates with a different set of phrases.
fixed them pic.twitter.com/Uqj68iwvYz
— Liz Climo (@elclimo) July 21, 2019
Ward clarified that her call to ban the plates wasn’t really meant literally.
“I wasn’t being literal at all in terms of a legal ‘ban,’” Ward told HuffPost, explaining that she “just wanted to show the world how insidious beauty culture, and in this case one that shames women, can be. But I wanted Macy’s to know that what they carry and display matters, it can hurt people, and they’re accountable for it.”
Body positivity activist Jameela Jamil jumped in with a tweet that left no doubt about her view.
Fuck these plates. Fuck these plates to hell @Macys https://t.co/BNOmGszf03
— Jameela Jamil ? (@jameelajamil) July 22, 2019
Macy’s doubled down on its cowering retreat, assuring “The Good Place” actress that the awful plates had been removed after receiving “the complaint.”
Hi Jameela. We agree that we missed the mark on this product. We apologize. It was removed yesterday from all STORY at Macy’s locations soon after we received the complaint.
— Macy’s (@Macys) July 22, 2019
“We apologize to our customers,” the retailer added after telling HuffPost that it “quickly removed the plates” from the flagship store in Manhattan’s Herald Square – the only place they were being sold.
The president of Pourtions regretted that the product, which was “meant to be a lighthearted take on the important issue of portion control,” ended up potentially being “hurtful to anyone.”
“Pourtions is intended to support healthy eating and drinking. Everyone who has appreciated Pourtions knows that it can be tough sometimes to be as mindful and moderate in our eating and drinking as we’d like, but that a gentle reminder can make a difference,” Mary Cassidy told HuffPost.
“That was all we ever meant to encourage. We ourselves use our glasses and plates every day to help us take our own advice. We know this is serious business. We also believe a touch of humor can, for some, be just the right touch,” she said.
With the outrage pouring out on social media, many Twitter users wondered if any on the left actually have a sense of humor.
We’re talking about banning a plate here. A plate. If you don’t find it funny, good! Don’t buy it. But why do you get to make that choice for others?
— Amanda (@ShnookiesMom) July 22, 2019
If a plate can harm you, you have bigger fish to fry. The plate has options and I’d love to get to the mom jeans. Tbh I’ve seen several versions of these novelty plates and I have yet to read an article about someone dying behind this.
— Danger In My Smile (@Still_Bourgeois) July 22, 2019
I can understand you not liking them. But why do you get to decide that 300 million other people don’t get that choice?
— Commander Vimes ? (@PunditErrant) July 22, 2019
they are plates. Plates.
— Alex Lekas (@TheAlexLekas) July 22, 2019
If a plate- that you don’t have to buy – offends you- you need more help than with just your food issues. #getoverit
— jerseygirl (@dcupsss) July 23, 2019
Let’s distill the argument, shall we?
If you don’t like some product someone makes/sells, don’t buy it.
If you don’t like some product someone makes/sells, and you prevent anyone else from buying it, you are infringing upon others choices. #Authoritarian
— Jellenne (@jellen805) July 22, 2019
Why do you need ANY saying on any bowl or plate? You’re EATING off of it. You’re not reading it. If you’re reading it you’re doing it wrong.
— Knightkore (@Knightkore) July 22, 2019
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