One of Australia’s largest clothing retailers was slammed for selling a body positivity shirt with limited sizing.
On Feb. 26, a Melbourne Facebook user by the name of Bri Marsh called Cotton On out for selling its $24.99 Dreamy Sleep t-shirt in sizes extra-small to extra-large, without accommodating those who required a larger fit. The shirt features two open palms and a floral design, along with a message that reads, “Beautiful isn’t a size.”
“Imagine my excitement when I, a size 18 woman (because I shouldn’t be ashamed of saying that) opened my emails to see this BEAUTY of a shirt,” the woman wrote. “I clicked the link, wanting desperately to buy this shirt that not only sends a beautiful message, but donates money to women!”
“Imagine my disappointment, my utter lack of hope for the world, when I saw you don’t stock above an XL, meaning I wouldn’t fit it,” she continued. “I’ve purchased larger sizes than that from your stores before, so I know it’s not impossible.”
Marsh said she had really wanted to purchase the shirt because of its positive message.
“A shirt like this would’ve meant the world to me when I was growing up a little bigger than your average girl,” she explained. “A shirt like this to me now would be something I wore to my band’s shows. A big goal of mine is to let anyone who sees us play know that size doesn’t define you. It doesn’t define anything.”
But the woman was, unfortunately, unable to make a purchase.
“I’m hoping this is a mistake on my behalf, maybe I missed the shirt in my size and it sold out,” she wrote. “But, if that isn’t the case, I urge you to please do better. I think it’s beautiful that you spread the message that ‘beauty isn’t a size’. I only wish you hadn’t restricted that message to smaller sizes.”
Marsh’s post, which she shared on her personal and the company’s Facebook pages, spurred other customers to chime in and offer words of support.
“Beautiful isn’t a size XL and up apparently,” one person quipped.
“I definitely agree with this,” another wrote. “Even though I am a size 14-16 I can never find anything in their stores that fit me properly. Most fast fashion brands do not take into account of the girls that are above a size 14 however they also don’t [accommodate] to girls that are below a size 8. Something needs to change, clothing stores need to be more accommodating for ALL sizes!”
According to Marsh, a Cotton On customer support representative later replied to her complaint.
“Kindly note that while we do try to cater for all different body shapes and are continually reviewing our ranges to ensure we bring customers the styles and sizes they want, we’re very sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to find what you need in this particular instance,” the representative wrote. “Rest assured that we will pass this feedback on to our Buying and Production teams to keep in mind as they design and plan our upcoming collections.”
The response, however, didn’t sit well with Marsh.
“This shirt was the perfect opportunity to be inclusive, yet it now just comes off as a cheap attempt at cashing in on the body positivity movement,” she wrote in reply to another user who questioned Cotton On’s intent behind the t-shirt.
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