Fast fashion retailer Missguided has become embroiled in controversy after a campaign calling for it to take down a “send me nudes” sign gained over 9000 signatures.
A neon sign at the retailer‘s store in Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, Missguided’s second bricks-and-mortar store which has only been open since June, has been criticised by shoppers for sending a poor message to its teenage shoppers.
Missguided has reportedly responded to the petition by posting pictures on social media of the sign being covered.
The petition, started by youth worker and head of the Girl‘s Brigade England & Wales Rachel Gardner, accused the fashion brand of legitimising “the culture of sexual coercion that teenage girls and young women experience daily”.
— bombshellbettygarstang (@GBombshellbetty) August 6, 2017
It read: “Teenage girls feel under increasing pressure to create and send nude pictures of themselves. An NSPCC report says teenage girls are most adversely affected by the sexting culture.
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“Once online, these nude images can be seen and used by anyone, making girls and vulnerable young women the victims of bullying, revenge porn and exploitation. Many of these nude images can even make their way to child abuse websites.
“It is illegal in the UK for nude images of under 18s to be created, sent and shared.
“In posting ‘send me nudes’ in their store, Missguided are promoting a negative and damaging culture.
A few thoughts on why 'Send me nudes x' petition mattered to me… https://t.co/AeBZsdisQG
— Rachel Gardner (@RachelGardnerRA) August 8, 2017
“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.”
Gardner added that the sign represents a “mixed message” from the brand, which otherwise says it is “about championing young talent and real women”.
Missguided has been contacted for comment.