Macy’s dropped dinner plates that measured portions by “skinny jean” and “mom jean” sizes after a single tweet made by Allie Ward a podcast host. The tweet made by Ward prompted a swift response by Macy’s admitting they made a mistake carrying the products.
Allie Ward, a reporter and podcast host, uploaded a photo on Twitter after she walked past Macy’s flagship store in New York. Ward snapped a picture of a display window that contained plates meant to help with portion control. However, the message on the plates sent a message that Ward believed wasn’t favorable for women.
— Alie Ward (@alieward) July 21, 2019
A company named Pourtions make the products. On the company website, Pourtions says they hope to help people make better choices related to portion control. A message in the about section reads,
“The idea for POURTIONS came about several years ago when I was reading another “sky-is-falling” account about obesity. While it’s easy to demonize foods, beverages and empty calories, I came to believe (like many others) that portion size was also a main culprit. From the corner donut cart to Big Gulps to “all you can eat and drink” buffets, portions have gone through the roof. Of course, the actual tableware we use everyday —plates, glasses, mugs—has grown exponentially in size as well.”
“This initial inspiration led us to design a conceptual line of tableware that deftly mixes social awareness with a humorous nudge in the right direction (it’s, um, much funnier than it sounds 😉 It truly suits the way we approach solutions — practical, irreverent & engaging.”
However, Ward believed the plates sent an inappropriate message to women related to the amount they eat. Additionally, she pointed out on Twitter that food volume does not automatically equate to higher calorie levels. Specifically, Ward reminded people that vegetables and salad take up considerable space but are not high in calories.
Portion control and portion control plates are great for those that choose them. But diet products that have no connection to actual food volumes and use body shame as a punchline are a bummer.
— Alie Ward (@alieward) July 22, 2019
Ward’s Tweet denouncing the body-shaming plates gained a lot of traction on Twitter with 3,800 retweets and 33,000 likes. Body positivity celebrity advocate Jameela Jamil retweeted the message with a stern statement to Macy’s. With thousands of people responding positively and sharing their outrage with Macy’s, the company responded swiftly.
Macy’s wrote to Allie,
“Hi, Alie — we appreciate you sharing this with us and agree that we missed the mark on this product.”
Hi, Alie — we appreciate you sharing this with us and agree that we missed the mark on this product. It will be removed from all STORY at Macy’s locations.— Macy’s (@Macys) July 22, 2019
STORY is a concept store inside Macy’s that sells products made by small businesses, and the products are only sold in-store.
Macy’s followed up with a statement to Today, “We apologize to our customers for missing the mark on this product. After reviewing the complaint, we quickly removed the plates, which were only in our STORY at Macy’s location in Herald Square.”
While the plates are no longer for sale at Macy’s, individuals can still find them online at the Pourtions website. Owners Dan and Mary Cassidy denied the dishes were offensive but rather a humorous attempt to help portion control.
“Pourtions is intended to support healthy eating and drinking,” they continued. “Everyone who has appreciated Pourtions knows that it can be tough sometimes to be as mindful and moderate in our eating and drinking as we’d like, but that a gentle reminder can make a difference. That was all we ever meant to encourage.”
Not only does the company sell plates to fat-shame women, but they also sell wine glasses to slut-shame women. The lower line on the glass reads, “Under the Influence,” and the second line reads “Under the host.” On the product description, the company suggests that they want to help women from experiencing regret the next day.
Portion control plates are a controversial weight-loss product. According to Science Daily, smaller plates do not help people eat less. A study completed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers found that food-deprived people can identify an appropriate serving no matter the plate size.
With that said, save your cash for something fun and skip the novelty products.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
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