A recent advertising campaign for LOFT set social media ablaze with accusations of body-shaming against the clothing retailer. Now LOFT has responded.
The controversy began when, in collaboration with the women behind YouTube channel #hotmessmoves, LOFT released a video series with the motto "Just say no to New Year's resolutions." The message backfired in one particular installment titled "Desperate Measures," as Jezebel pointed out.
In that video, actress and #HotMessMoves co-creator Lyle Friedman is shown wrapping herself in plastic wrap and binge-exercising to the point of exhaustion. After lunging, crunching and then wincing at the scale multiple times, Friedman retorts, "There's a ... it's a wedding" to her unperturbed co-star. Then she passes out. The end.
Comments on the brand's Facebook page called the video "disgusting," "despicable" and "a major reinforcement of body hate." And while some consumers remarked that they enjoyed other videos in the series, many felt this portrayal of unhealthy behaviors too closely resembles actual eating disorders.
As one commenter phrased it: "This is terrible. The other Loft Hot Mess Moves ads are clever, and actually feature Loft clothing. This one promotes self loathing, and has nothing to do with the product."
Another pinpointed what the commenter believed to be the problem: "I kept waiting for her to put loft clothes on and despite the weight gain look great ... buuuuuuuuut."
In a statement to TODAY.com, LOFT said the video is being taken out of context. "We teamed up with the comediennes of #hotmessmoves to create a series of videos on LOFT.com, which prove your best resolution for 2015 should be to stay exactly the same, because you're perfect just the way you are," a spokesperson said.