Style & Beauty

Tess Holliday Calls Out Revolve For Selling ‘Fat Is Not Beautiful’ Sweatshirt

Apparently, the sweatshirt is part of an attempt to shine a light on horrible messages from trolls.
09/12/2018 01:15pm ET | Updated September 12, 2018

An image of a model wearing a small-sized sweatshirt that proclaims “Being Fat Is Not Beautiful, It’s An Excuse” provoked instant backlash after it appeared on the clothing site Revolve on Wednesday.

Model Tess Holliday, the site Fashionista, and U.K.-based artist Florence Given, as well as many others on social media, denounced the $168 sweatshirt, made by the brand LPA.

“LOLLLLL @REVOLVE y’all are a mess,” Holliday tweeted.

The offensive quote on the LPA sweatshirt was apparently something a troll said to Paloma Elsesser, who describes herself as a plus-size model. Below the quote, the sweatshirt reads, “as told to @palomija” ― which is Elsesser’s Instagram handle ― in tiny letters.

LPA was founded by Pia Arrobio. According to an Instagram direct exchange between LPA and Given, the sweatshirt was a misguided attempt to reclaim trolls’ toxic messages to women.

“It’s a collaboration with five women with the worst troll quotes,” the messages read. “The point was to shine the light on how horrible trolling is. The proceeds benefit charity. So basically it’s the opposite of what it seems.”

LPA did not immediately return HuffPost’s requests for comment.

But a Revolve spokesperson issued a statement to HuffPost later on Wednesday, saying that the images were “prematurely released” that morning and were meant to benefit the charity Girls Write Now.

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.

The prematurely released images featured on Revolve.com [were] not only included without context of the overall campaign but regrettably featured one of the pieces on a model [whose] 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.

Although the collection has now been pulled, Revolve said it will still donate $20,000 to the charity.

Revolve
A screenshot of the product before it was taken down. 

The product and page are no longer on the Revolve website. Fashionista editor Tyler McCall pointed out that the sweatshirt only went up to a size XL, before it was listed as sold out.

This story has been updated with a statement from Revolve.