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“Eat Less” doesn’t just mean “eat less”

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There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Urban Outfitters and their heather grey “Eat Less” shirt lately. The natural human reaction to such a taunting remark is, of course, to slam it and condemn it to kingdom come.

And that’s exactly what happened. The fashion blogging world went crazy last week, actively spreading the news and advancing their own agenda of common courtesy and accepting people for who and what they are. The end of the story, which again showcased the growing influence of the new fashion media, saw Urban Outfitters take the notorious shirt off their e-commerce site.

Wrong move, Urban Outfitters. Wrong move.

If you thought it was witty enough to be made into a shirt, then what made you change your mind? Why did you give in to the pressure?

So what if people didn’t like it? That always happens. Somebody sells something that everybody hates. Does it mean you stop selling it, even if you put it out there on the market for a reason? Even if you wanted to send a message to America and to the rest of the overweight, overeating world? No, it doesn’t. And you don’t.

You had a germ of an idea that could have grown into something big, something infectious. You don’t extinguish it until you’ve achieved what you’ve set out to do.

Obesity, diabetes, and all these complications resulting from dietary abuse are a serious threat to societies all over the world. It’s especially relevant here in the Middle East where, as health statistics suggest, so many inhabitants are diabetic and morbidly obese. If people would just stop being so dramatic and see the world-changing potential that the words “Eat Less” have, then maybe we could have a bigger chance of avoiding these illnesses.

I liked Urban Outfitters’ shirt and the subliminal messaging that accompanied it. Fashion touches so many facets of our lives and if it could have any positive impact on the way we take care of our health, then we should welcome it.

Maybe the “Eat Less” shirt was way ahead of its time. You know the saying, the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one? Maybe we haven’t admitted that we indeed have a problem.

Maybe a couple years from now, everyone who thought Urban Outfitters‘ shirt was just a crazy, miscalculated publicity stunt will realise that, in retrospect, while mean and downright dangerous to our anorexic friends, the “Eat Less” shirt was a brilliant, reflective commentary on how lightly the world took important health issues like obesity at the time. Or maybe not.