Is it ok for stores to charge more for plus size clothes?— Sarah-Jane Mee (@skysarahjane) May 15, 2018
Is this a fat tax or is it fair to pay more for getting more?@newlook criticised for charging women more for exactly the same styles but in a bigger size.
Your thoughts @skynews #Sunrise pic.twitter.com/sw7hhKchf9
New Look, a retailer based in the United Kingdom, is under fire for charging different prices for its “Curves” items. Now, people online are accusing the company of charging a “fat tax” on clothes above size 12.
The discovery was made by retail supervisor Maria Wassell. She learned that a pair of the brand’s green striped pants in New Look’s “Curves” section cost £22.99 a pair, or $31.01 in American dollars. As soon as she found the same pair went for £19.99, or $26.97, in smaller sizes, she told reporters she was “absolutely disgusted.”
The larger versions of the pants were 15 percent more expensive, prompting critics to suggest that the store could be shaming larger or taller women.
New Look accused of 'fat tax' by charging more for outfits after size 16 https://t.co/0RPSPe5qIJ— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) May 14, 2018
The prices for a second item were also different depending on their sizes, Wassell added.
A T-shirt with the words “tres jolie” went for £9.99, or $13.47, for sizes up to 12. But according to the retail supervisor, she had purchased the same item from New Look’s “Curves” collection for £12.99, or $17.51.
Following the discoveries, Wassell said she’s boycotting the store until New Look brings this price discrepancy to an end. Many people online said they would follow.
Many Twitter users said that this price discrepancy could hurt people who have no control over their weight. Others said that this different price policy discriminates against people, negatively affecting their body image.
New Look attempting to fat shame women by introducing an arbitrary fat tax on their "curves and plus" range is scandalous & contributes to an unhealthy discourse on body image. If the issue was additional fabric cost, then why do @newlook charge the same price for these products? pic.twitter.com/2WbSb93e1V— Rory Stride (@rmstride) May 15, 2018
@Newlook with your ‘fat tax’ you may encourage anorexia or bulimia or other eating disorders.— GOSIA0801 (@Gosia0801) May 15, 2018
So, I was always told not to discriminate anyone because of their religion, age, colour, appearance, ability & sex! So @newlook would you charge extra for someone that has a diff religion age colour? NO! But it’s ok to discriminate against appearance because they are bigger? ????— Caroline Tingz ???? (@4misspinkypink4) May 15, 2018
Shoppers outraged over New Look’s ‘fat tax’ on plus?size clothing— Bob For Full Brexit (@boblister_poole) May 15, 2018
Time to Boycott!https://t.co/ARPWo1wjGl
I’m tall which means sometimes I buy big sizes, this is something I was v self conscious of when I was younger, cutting tags out of clothes etc. Should you be subliminally punished for being anything other than a 10? ?? https://t.co/8HQ0OxVcbS— Genevieve Brennan (@Genbrennan) May 15, 2018
New Look’s spokesman said that the company is “in the process of reviewing the pricing structure of [its] plus-size collection.” He also said that New Look is working to make sure these discrepancies don’t happen again.
Hopefully other stores catch word of this incident and take a second look at their pricing scales as well. After all, a boycott threat could damage a company, especially if the people saying they are boycotting a brand for discriminating against women of different sizes have a presence online.
Respecting women’s differences without penalizing them financially could go a long way for clothing brands and the fashion industry as a whole.
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