A Fashion Brand Aiming To Be 'Inclusive' Created A Separate Instagram Page For Non-White And Plus-Sized Models
"What makes these women not suitable for your main page @ohpolly?"
Fashion brand Oh Polly has apologized for making a separate Instagram account for ethnic minority women and plus-sized models.
The aptly dubbed “Oh Polly Inclusive” account has since been removed from Instagram, but it featured a range of plus-sized influencers as well as women from various ethnic backgrounds – a stark contrast from the online brand's official Oh Polly page, which primarily features thin, white women.
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"What in the segregation is this," YouTube star Alissa Ashley tweeted on Sunday. She compared snapshots of the two accounts. "What makes these women not suitable for your main page
@ohpolly ? Ohpollyinclusive?? Who approved this?"
Ashley's tweet has since received more than 20,000 likes.
"Like imagine calling yourselves inclusive & not wanting to post women that don’t fit your “aesthetic” on your brand page lmao," Ashley said in a follow-up tweet.
The UK-based company initially responded to critics that it was "celebrating a wider range of people in our community."
But some customers likened it to somewhat of a marketing tool -- why create two separate pages if inclusivity was their primary goal?
All about being “inclusive” but literally separating the “conventionally unattractive”.... make it make sense luv— sof (@helpimbaby) May 13, 2019'
Oh look another spinoff! “Inclusive-ish” 😍😍😍— Ivycado 🥑✨ (@IvyKungu) May 13, 2019'
The "inclusive" account also featured the slogan: "Zero % Tolerance, 100% inclusive," which confused some social media users.
The phrase “zero percent tolerance” literally means “we are not tolerant” which seems like the opposite of being inclusive?? What were they even trying to say?? I’m very confused???? Lmao— RAVEN ELYSE (@RavenElyseTV) May 14, 2019'
Since the new account was removed, we noticed that Oh Polly has included a few more diverse models on their main social media pages...
When your bestie starts 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯’ 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘢 on what she got up to at the 𝗪𝐄𝐄𝐊𝐄𝐍𝐃 ☕️💦 @mariamadiallo_ wears •• 𝐄𝐘𝐄 𝐂𝐀𝐍𝐃𝐘 •• & Sofia styles •• 𝐃𝐎𝐔𝐁𝐋𝐄 𝐋𝐈𝐅𝐄 •• both online now: https://t.co/GSHGLIQTG5 pic.twitter.com/CdzNFp1DTh— Oh Polly (@ohpolly) May 16, 2019'
In a statement to BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, a spokesperson for the brand addressed the controversy:
"We established a new page with the specific aim of allowing our customers to discuss a wider range of issues. Improving diversity remains an absolute priority for us across all of our channels. We promise to continue listening to everyone in the Oh Polly community and, most importantly, learn from this mistake."