The Range Forced To Pull Weight-Loss Items From Shelf Following Complaints
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Major retailer The Range has pulled a weight-loss product from shelves after receiving complaints from customers around body shaming.
The product in question was a wooden weight-loss 'countdown calendar' designed in the shape of a bikini, that encourages buyers to lose up to 23lbs.
The wooden plaque has 23 small crevices in it - each one fit to hold a £1 coin, making for a 'fun and unique way to save money and get fit', according to a description from The Range.
Another model of the calendar, shaped in the style of a wedding dress, encouraged the buyer to lose up to 40lbs.
After months of complaints from customers via social media, spanning back as early as October, the product has finally been taken down from store shelves.
The final straw was a more recent bout of social media complaints spearheaded by Instagram user Emma Conway, aka @brummymummyof2.
Posting about the product to her 150,000 followers, Emma said she was 'shocked' when she saw the weight-loss calendar on shelves - and even more so when she was told that a similar product for men did not exist.
In an open letter of sorts to the retailer, Emma posted on Instagram, writing: "Dear @therangeuk. I just popped into one of your shops as I love your garden stuff. And was excited to get some bits and bobs.
"Imagine my shock when I saw two signs. One saying ‘Countdown To My Bikini Body’ and the other stating ‘It Could Only Take 10lbs To Drop A Dress Size’.
"Now I understand people want to lose weight for a variety of reasons. Not an issue. But I asked if there was one for men. Maybe a ‘Lose Chunk To Fit In Your Trunks’.
"There wasn’t. It was just for WOMEN. To get a bikini body. And to fit in a smaller wedding dress.
"I left the shop shaking. In 2022. A large chain. Is feeding into the narrative that WOMEN need to be smaller."
She continued: "To drop a dress size. To put a sign in their houses which they would look at each day. To help them get ready to go to the beach. The motivation is not to get fit and healthy. But to shrink themselves. Remember ladies we need to be tiny.
"I know some people may not see a problem. And The Range obviously doesn’t. But anyone reading this remember how to get a bikini body is to... buy a bikini. And put it on your body."
When the product first hit raised concerns last year, eating disorder charity Beat warned that it could potentially 'glamorise' dangerous weight loss.
Tom Quinn, director of external affairs at Beat, had said: "We know that idealising thinness can be very damaging for people with or vulnerable to eating disorders, as it can encourage or serve as 'inspiration' for harmful eating disorder behaviours.
"Whilst pressure to reach body ideals like the 'bikini body' are unlikely to be the sole cause of an eating disorder, it can be extremely unhelpful to people in recovery.
"Pressure to reach 'goal weights' can also cause distress and shame around body image, or even lead to an eating disorder developing."
After months of complaints the product has now been discontinued by The Range.
In a statement, they claimed they had not 'set out to offend customers' and would not be bringing back the product.
If you have been affected by the content of this article, or need further support, visit the BEAT website here.