Missguided, the fast fashion label favoured by the Love Island girls, has been strongly criticised for putting up a controversial sign in at least one of its UK stores.
Shoppers were shocked to spot “Send me nudes” in big pink neon lettering above clothes rails in the company’s Bluewater shopping centre branch in Kent. Others have reported seeing it in the Westfield Stratford store, too.
“What hope is there for girls when the stores they shop in give them this message?” wrote one angry Twitter user. “Missguided it’s time to respect girls and remove this sign.”
More than 6,000 people have signed a petition against the sign, which trivialises and could even be seen to glamourise the disturbing social media trend that sees women including young girls propositioned to send naked photos of themselves to strangers.
— Becca Hellard (@hellard_becca) August 6, 2017
@Missguided Why is a wall in your store asking for nudes from teenagers? It doesn't even make sense. Remove this offensive sign immediately.
— Kim Bryan (@Smithy1984KL) August 7, 2017
Rachel Gardner, who set up the campaign, is concerned that the sign “legitimises the culture of sexual coercion that teenage girls and young women experience daily”.
“In posting ‘Send me nudes’ in their store, Missguided is promoting a negative and damaging culture,” she writes. “Instead, they should be empowering young women to value their intrinsic value and express their uniqueness through the art of fashion. So we are calling on Missguided to respect girls and take down their sign.”
The NSPCC recently revealed in a worrying report that teenage girls are most negatively affected by the sexting culture, which puts them at risk of “bullying, revenge porn and exploitation”.
It is illegal in the UK for nude images of under 18s to be created, sent or shared, making it extra concerning given that Missguided targets its clothing at teenagers and twenty-somethings.
— tim.gough (@timgoughuk) August 6, 2017
Missguided has responded to the backlash, telling Refinery29 that “the sign has now been covered and will be removed this evening”.
— Rebecca Rumsey (@RebeccaRumsey) August 7, 2017
It is expected that a full statement will be released shortly.