Open Letter to Urban Outfitters

Subject: Open Letter to Urban Outfitters
From: Kinder Labatt
Date: 17 Sep 2014

Dear Urban Outfitters,

My thirteen-year-old self thanks you for having provided trendy, vintage looking clothing at an affordable price. You are cheaper than Aritzia and edgier than American Apparel, and I have no doubt in my mind that you were my favorite clothing store. Emphasis on the “were.”

I am now an adult. I can vote, legally drink and buy cigarettes and get to decide my own bedtime. I was brought up with a good sense of distinguishing between “right” and “wrong” and I would like to believe that I’m a good person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, as a teenager that line between good and bad became a little burry, and I make mistakes like any other human does. But as I matured, I got my life back on track and I’m confident that I can judge when something someone does is wrong.

Did you know that eating disorders lead to the most deaths out of any other mental disorder? Not a lot of people do. The reality is most teenagers are dieting right now. They truly believe that they are not thin or beautiful enough. How fucked up is that? It’s almost as fucked up as the idea that promoting anorexia is trendy and worth a profit. How dare you make shirts with the words “Eat Less” on the front. It is because of people like you that girls think that eating less is a social norm.

But this is not the first time that there have been controversies regarding your apparel. Time after time I see your name in the tabloids or on social media, and every time it’s the same thing: people get angry, you say it was an honest mistake and then the issue is dropped.

Not this time.

I have witnessed too many girls, myself included, get sucked into the idea that “skinny equals beautiful” and “eating less is eating right.” Did you know that it takes on average seven years to completely recover from an eating disorder? That’s one of the first things they taught me when I was hospitalized for mine. So congratulations, you just gave thousands of young girls seven years of hell to look forward to.

What you did was not wrong, oh no, it is way passed that. I wouldn’t even call it a “fuck up” because there is no way a humane person could possibly fathom the idea that encouraging anorexia is witty, edgy or cool. Deciding to sell those shirts was insensitive and repulsive. I mean, you might as well have just called a bunch of impressionable teenagers fat because the damage you have done is unforgivable.

You are distasteful, ignorant and quite frankly make me sick. We live in a messed up world and crappy shit happens all of the time that we cannot control; however, this is something that I can control. I am proud to say that I will never be caught dead in one of your stores ever again and I encourage others to do the same.

I appreciate your understanding and wish you the best of luck in the future.


Kinder Labatt

Ps: just kidding, go fuck yourself.