I’m sure you’ve all heard about at least one Urban Outfitters controversy within the last few years. Probably because there have been so many. It’s almost as if they spin a roulette wheel to choose who they’re going to offend next. Let’s take a look through the Museum of Urban Outfitters Fuckery.
1. Eat Less
This is probably the most widely known Urban Outfitters controversy. Here we have what is obviously a message encouraging restrictive eating behaviors. As someone who has suffered from Anorexia, this shit is so far from funny that there is not one spaceship that could get you there this century. Probably 99% of people with eating disorders will tell you that in their past, one way or another, they received this message and it contributed to the development of their eating disorder. Wow, thanks Urban Outfitters, let’s make it even easier to spread the message of body hate and assholery.
2. Depression T-Shirt
Once again, I really wish I could have witnessed the design meeting where someone actually said “Let’s have a shirt that just says “depression” all over it. Am I a genius or what?” and people then agreed to it wholeheartedly.
“Lisa OMG, that shirt is so kewt. Where did you GET IT?!”
“Michelle. No one likes you. You’re poor and you don’t even shop at Urban Outfitters.”
I’ve suffered from depression for most of my life and nothing portrays the agony of it better than a crop top. Having my mental illness struggle trivialized to make #fashun is my favorite Sunday post-brunch activity.
Somewhere along the line, Urban Outfitters was brainstorming ideas for a board game and some white dude with a pencil mustache probably said, “I mean everyone has board games, but do they have a board game and alienates and dehumanizes black people?” This man received a raise.
Great for when you and your white hipster friends are chilling in your new apartment next to Whole Foods in your choice of a gentrified neighborhood! Party on! Because you’re not racist, you have a “black friend.”
4. Bloody Kent State Sweatshirt
If you need an explanation as to why this is so incredibly fucked up, you probably shop at Urban Outfitters…
Just put the word navajo into the search bar at Urban Outfitters’ website, and you’ll immediately be taken to a haven of systematic racism and cultural appropriation.
Because who wouldn’t want their cultural heritage and traditions marketed as a pair of underwear?
Urban Outfitters had fun with their “Navajo” stuff, but it just didn’t quite satisfy their appetite for blatant disrespect. Here’s where the Hindu god Ganesha comes into play.
Cultural significance and sanctity? Not when I can get these kewl socks! And while we’re at it, let’s once again exploit Ganesha for our college dorm decor needs! Racism is such a rush!
7. Can’t Forget Homophobia!
Urban Outfitters loves their tapestries, and they’ve really taken the cake with their newest one. Surprise! It looks almost exactly like the uniforms worn by gay men in concentration camps during the Holocaust!
No better way to lighten up a room than a textile based in genocide!
8. More RACISM!
Ghettopoly was a proud moment for Urban Outfitters, but still their hunger for racism against black people was too strong. They began taking every possible chance they could get:
Instead of just having the choice of color for this shirt say BLACK, they decided to call it OBAMA BLACK, which is obviously so clever because Obama is black and they apparently have 0 respect for him or any other black people for that matter.
Urban Outfitters were thrilled with “Obama Black,” but it still wasn’t enough. So they made this t-shirt:
Just check out Pure Hip Hop’s source of protein. It’s the advice to “Get some chicken,” because stereotypes, get it? Obviously wearing this tee gives you a head start on your way to becoming the next big White Rapper. You’ll get your own movie called 9 Mile and completely erase the accomplishments of black artists every chance you get! Thanks for investing in the futures of white rappers, Urban Outfitters, they needed it.
I really wish I could say that these were all the controversies to come out of Urban Outfitters, but that would be a straight up lie. Urban Outfitters has repeatedly been caught stealing artwork without artist consent.
So next time you feel like strolling into good ol Urban Outfitters to get some BDG Jeans or an overpriced tunic, do everyone a favor and just take a shit in the dressing room instead.