Monday, May 19, 2008

A Letter to Torrid

Dear Torrid Executives:

As a formerly eager customer, I would like to express disappointment in your decision to be involved with a contest featuring a "boot-camp" for weight loss. Losing weight rapidly is not only untenable in the long-run, but unhealthy for the participants both physically and psychologically. I don't understand how a store purporting to serve a customer base that is comfortable and confident in their bodies can support a program that teaches them, as all diets do, that their bodies are unacceptable and objects of shame. If you don't want large women to accept their bodies as they are, why do you choose to serve them as a demographic? If you want, as your clothes suggest, large women to feel confident in themselves as people, why would you choose to suddenly sell them out to the media industry that survives primarily by a constant reinforcement of self-loathing in women and girls? Supporting that media and it's ideals of body-hatred through weight loss is a betrayal of your customers' trust.

I do love your clothing line, but I have made the difficult decision to no longer give any of my business to support a company that tries to sell me clothing while telling me my body is not an acceptable shape to wear that clothing. I cannot support a company that asks women to wear the symbols of confidence in their bodies while it in turn supports a contest promoting the objectification and manipulation of women by telling them the shape of their bodies is more important than the achievements of their minds or skills.

If your company would be willing to cut ties with this contest and no longer support any promotion of dieting or body-hatred, I would be happy to bring my business back to your stores. Please consider the long-term effects of your actions, and whether the loyalty of your customer base is more important than any fleeting profits you may realize by selling their trust.


Susan Conklin