The fat-shaming cartoons hanging in an office full of women.


A fashion label by women, for women is making headlines this week — for all the wrong reasons.

Lilly Pulitzer is a fashion designer whose swirly, girly designs are worn by preppy sun-lovers all summer long in the US.

This week, an article published by New York Time’s The Cut provided a glimpse inside the label’s “Pink-and-Green Headquarters” in Philadelphia.

It was supposed to be a light-hearted look at life in the so-called “Pink Palace” of Lilly Pulitzer — but it ended up exposing much more than the pretty, eclectic office interiors.

Because when the article went live on Tuesday morning, readers pointed out  a rather concerning detail in the accompanying photo slideshow: a series of fat-shaming cartoons pinned to a ‘mood board’ in the office.

“Put it down CARB FACE,” read one cartoon, alongside a photo of a woman with a rounded belly and a sad expression on her face.

“Just another day of…Fat, White, and Hideous. You should probably just kill yourself,” read another, alongside a caricature of an overweight woman.

According to Business Insider, the label has a reputation in the US “of being exclusive” and is often regarded as “a WASP wardrobe staple”.

The label has a reputation in the US “of being exclusive” and is often regarded as “a WASP wardrobe staple”. (Photo: Twitter/Lilly Pulitzer)

Following the controversy, The Cut added to the photo’s caption that the cartoons were “the personal illustrations of an employee not pictured in this story”.

The slideshow also includes a photo of employees lining up at a table full of cupcakes, chips and cookies.


But social media users were nevertheless quick to pick up on the offending photos — with some referencing the fact that ‘plus sizes’ of label’s collection for Target are only be available online.

“Maybe the employee would have a better relationship with their body if the fashion industry would more fully include plus-sized women instead of making them feel like the ‘other’,” one commenter wrote online.

Post continues after gallery:

“I’m not surprised at all that Lilly Pulitzer has an employee who is so ridiculously shallow that she would fat shame herself and others (because a lot of women have similar bodies to that illustration),” another commenter wrote on Facebook. “The fashion industry… all act as though it’s okay to value women by a dress size over character and strength.”

A spokesperson for Lilly Pulitzer apologised for the photos, emphasising that the cartoons were posted in a personal work area.

“These illustrations were the work of one individual and were posted in her personal work ares,” the spokesperson told Mamamia in an emailed statement. “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 apologise for any harm this may have caused.”

Mamamia has contacted Lilly Pulitzer directly for comment.

What do you think of the cartoons?

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