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The Media Is Wrong: Lilly Fat Shaming

05/27/15

Yesterday I saw this picture featured in New York Magazine as part of Lilly Pulitzer office tour. Apparently a lot of other folks did too.  All kinds of media outlets including Time, CNN and Fortune are reporting that Lilly Pultizer is fat shaming women.

When I looked at the photo, that’s not what I saw at all.  It looks like a reminder on a refrigerator that one of their employees posted.  Like she was trying to make better food choices to get ready for bikini season.  My first thought was “Ohhhh…how sad to see one of their artists used her talents to draw this distorted self portrait.”  That employee wasn’t shaming her clients, she was shaming herself.  And now that her sketch has gone viral I REALLY feel for her.

According to the Huffington Post:  Jane Schoenborn, Vice President of Creative Communications for Lilly Pulitzer said via email, “These illustrations were the work of one individual and were posted in her personal work area.  While we are an employer that does encourage people to decorate their own space, we are a female-dominated company and these images do not reflect our values. We apologize for any harm this may have caused.”

Sadly a good business reminder came out of this uproar.  If you are going to invite the media into your offices make sure they are ready for show.  If you can’t control every part of the office make sure the media doesn’t have access to it.  Hard to police on both ends, but worth it to avoid attention like this.

 

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