UK retailer accused of contributing to ‘fat shaming’ by stocking cosmetic product

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

UK retailer accused of contributing to ‘fat shaming’ by stocking cosmetic product

Related tags Cosmetics European union

UK retail giant, Marks and Spencer is the latest department store to be accused of contributing to fat shaming by stocking a range of body toning creams called ‘Fat Girl Slim’.

The brand behind the tongue-in-cheek range Bliss has been accused of "shaming" consumers into using its’ expensive skin sculpting and firming products.

Campaigners took to the streets of Brighton to picket M&S for selling a range of products that they perceive to be "exploitative, dangerous and sad​."

When contacted, a Marks and Spencer representative replied; "This product range is part of independent beauty brand Bliss and is not intended to cause offence to our customers."

Bliss urged to pull "offensive and misleading" range

Bliss was also contacted and urged to discontinue its range of creams as protesters believed the language used in the brand's advertising campaigns were offensive and misleading.

Protesters have suggested that the branding implies that the user will experience a reduction in cellulite and other problem areas, which will affect vulnerable, impressionable young women.

They also encouraged customers to sign a petition which started more than a year ago. 

According to Bliss; "The products play on the popular DJ's name [Fatboy Slim] and aren't intended to cause offence."

Cosmetic regulation on marketing claims

In order for cosmetics to be permitted onto Europe's markets, they must follow strict regulations in terms of formulation and marketing claims.

Cosmetics Regulation 1223/ 2009​ which was adopted in 2009 finally went into complete action replacing the Cosmetics Directive of 1976 that used to rule cosmetics products in the European Union.

The world’s largest personal care market of more than 500 million consumers is now served by a single, harmonised piece of legislation, directly applicable in all the Member States of the EU.

The regulation gives consumers both a uniform level of protection in a single market, and brings unprecedented clarity for industry.

With the new regulation came main changes strengthened safety requirements, centralized notification of all cosmetic products placed on the EU market, the introduction of reporting of serious undesirable effects, new rules for the use of nanomaterials in cosmetic products, and the introduction of the notion of 'responsible person'.

Related topics Business & Financial Skin Care

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