IT'S GOOD NEWS

Fat-shamed

15 May 2018 | Liz Bowen

If you’re a regular reader of our blogs, you’ll know that we’re big advocates of ‘real beauty’ and accepting bodies in all their wonderful and unique shapes and sizes.

With so much being done by companies and organisations nowadays to promote inclusivity, it’s always going to be a bad PR day for any company that seems to be setting the movement back.

Following the news that online fashion retailer ASOS is to starting using photos of models with various body shapes and sizes all wearing the same garment across its website and app and Missguided using unedited shots of models on its website, high street retailer New Look has today come under fire for charging more for items in its Curves range.

A pair of trousers from the range – which is available in sizes 18-28 – were found to cost £3 more than the same trousers from the retailer’s main collection.

Some people have blasted New Look for charging more for the trousers, seeing it as a discriminatory ‘fat tax’ while others – including the chairman of the National Obesity Forum – have argued that the need to use more material to make larger sizes means that it is “entirely reasonable” for stores to charge more money for them.

In fact, in a poll on Sky News’ Twitter feed, 55% of nearly 8,500 people said it was fair for retailers to charge more for plus-size items.

But despite the mixed reaction, New Look has assured fans that it values all its customers, no matter “what their body shape or size” and is looking to “ensure pricing differences like these” don’t happen again.

The headlines have come during an already difficult time for New Look, following the announcement earlier this year it would be closing 60 UK stores and cutting 1,000 jobs as part of a financial restructure.

Yet New Look finds itself in a rather unique situation here in terms of the good PR / bad PR debate. Negative headlines are never a good thing, however, the reaction from the majority of people is largely on the retailer’s side.

The fact that New Look has responded to the debate, however will hopefully appease the many people who are still against it whether you agree with them or not.