Home » Health » Even Lena Dunham Is Distancing Herself from the Awful Troll-Quote Sweatshirt Line She Helped Create

Even Lena Dunham Is Distancing Herself from the Awful Troll-Quote Sweatshirt Line She Helped Create

On Wednesday, it came to the internet’s attention that the online retailer Revolve had begun selling sweatshirts bearing size shame-y and anti-feminist statements like, “Too boney to be boned,” “Being fat is not beautiful / It’s an excuse,” “Slut feminist nightmare,” and “Horrible result of modern feminist,” with “as said to [influencer’s handle]” in much smaller print.

The Twittersphere was not amused—particularly because the styles were modeled by straight-size white women, only came in sizes up to extra large, and cost about $189.

LOLLLLL @REVOLVE y’all are a mess. pic.twitter.com/CrzOkd5oE4

Making a statement like this is so problematic, do you really think you will be having a positive impact on young minds who have the potential to see a young woman walking down the street in one of these ( who is a size 12 or under as that’s what these go up too ) madness. pic.twitter.com/sH8DqFxVoP

so the brand that doesn’t cater to women above a size 10 @REVOLVE made these sweatshirts to combat “internet trolling” but decided to put the sweatshirt about fat shaming on a skinny model. pic.twitter.com/4WaeVHDjn2

Hi @REVOLVE, thanks for proving what everyone who isn’t a size 00 influencer already knew about you: 🚮 https://t.co/Wo8nXAp8ze

The collection was a collaboration between clothing brand LPA, the initials of designer Lara Pia Arrobio, and five women, including model Paloma Elsesser and Lena Dunham, who thought the project would “highlight quotes from prominent women who have experienced internet trolling and abuse,” as per a statement she posted on Instagram on Wednesday to distance herself from the project.

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For months I’ve been working on a collaboration with LPA through parent company @revolve – sweatshirts that highlight quotes from prominent women who have experienced internet trolling & abuse. This is a cause very close to my heart and the proceeds were meant to benefit charities that help young women by empowering them to express themselves through writing and art. Without consulting me or any of the women involved, @revolve presented the sweatshirts on thin white women, never thinking about the fact that difference and individuality is what gets you punished on the Internet, or that lack of diversity in representation is a huge part of the problem (in fact, the problem itself.) As a result, I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way. I am deeply disappointed in @revolve’s handling of a sensitive topic and a collaboration rooted in reclaiming the words of internet trolls to celebrate the beauty in diversity and bodies and experiences that aren’t the industry norm. *** I’d like to especially extend my love and support to @palomija, whose quote was the first to be promoted and mangled. She’s a hero of mine. Like me, she gave her quote in good faith and shared her vulnerability in order to support arts education and to spread her message of empowerment, and she wasn’t consulted in the marketing. Not an ounce of negativity should be sent her way. *** My only goal on this planet is to empower women through art and dialogue. I’m grateful to every woman who shared a quote and so disappointed that our words were not honored. As a result, I will be making a donation to the charity of every woman’s choice who was wronged with me and I hope that @revolve will join me with a contribution of their own. *** P.S. This Rubens painting makes me happy because it’s about women joining in love, but he didn’t recognize diversity at all- he just loved curvy butts. Problematic fave.

A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

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For months I’ve been working on a collaboration with LPA through parent company @revolve – sweatshirts that highlight quotes from prominent women who have experienced internet trolling & abuse. This is a cause very close to my heart and the proceeds were meant to benefit charities that help young women by empowering them to express themselves through writing and art. Without consulting me or any of the women involved, @revolve presented the sweatshirts on thin white women, never thinking about the fact that difference and individuality is what gets you punished on the Internet, or that lack of diversity in representation is a huge part of the problem (in fact, the problem itself.) As a result, I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way. I am deeply disappointed in @revolve’s handling of a sensitive topic and a collaboration rooted in reclaiming the words of internet trolls to celebrate the beauty in diversity and bodies and experiences that aren’t the industry norm. *** I’d like to especially extend my love and support to @palomija, whose quote was the first to be promoted and mangled. She’s a hero of mine. Like me, she gave her quote in good faith and shared her vulnerability in order to support arts education and to spread her message of empowerment, and she wasn’t consulted in the marketing. Not an ounce of negativity should be sent her way. *** My only goal on this planet is to empower women through art and dialogue. I’m grateful to every woman who shared a quote and so disappointed that our words were not honored. As a result, I will be making a donation to the charity of every woman’s choice who was wronged with me and I hope that @revolve will join me with a contribution of their own. *** P.S. This Rubens painting makes me happy because it’s about women joining in love, but he didn’t recognize diversity at all- he just loved curvy butts. Problematic fave.

A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

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For months I’ve been working on a collaboration with my friend Pia’s company LPA through parent company @revolve – sweatshirts that highlight quotes from prominent women who have experienced internet trolling & abuse. This is a cause very close to my heart and the proceeds were meant to benefit charities that help young women by empowering them to express themselves through writing and art. Without consulting me or any of the women involved, @revolve presented the sweatshirts on thin white women, never thinking about the fact that difference and individuality is what gets you punished on the Internet, or that lack of diversity in representation is a huge part of the problem (in fact, the problem itself.) As a result, I cannot support this collaboration or lend my name to it in any way. This doesn’t take away from my love or respect for what Pia has done with LPA, but I am deeply disappointed in @revolve’s handling of a sensitive topic and a collaboration rooted in reclaiming the words of internet trolls to celebrate the beauty in diversity and bodies and experiences that aren’t the industry norm. *** I’d like to especially extend my love and support to @palomija, whose quote was the first to be promoted and mangled. She’s a hero of mine. Like me, she gave her quote in good faith and shared her vulnerability in order to support arts education and to spread her message of empowerment, and she wasn’t consulted in the marketing. Not an ounce of negativity should be sent her way. *** My only goal on this planet is to empower women through art and dialogue. I’m grateful to every woman who shared a quote and so disappointed that our words were not honored. As a result, I will be making a donation to the charity of every woman’s choice who was wronged with me and I hope that @revolve will join me with a contribution of their own. *** P.S. This Rubens painting makes me happy because it’s about women joining in love, but he didn’t recognize diversity at all- he just loved curvy butts. Problematic fave.

A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

Many of Dunham’s fans still took issue with the concept: “Love you girl…but putting quotes like that out into the world for little girls or even teenage girls to see with no context, even on a larger framed woman was such a damaging concept,” one commenter wrote.

The sweatshirt line’s proceeds were supposed to benefit charities that empower young women to express themselves, as per Dunham and LPA, which issued its own explanation in the caption of a blank Instagram post published on Wednesday:

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What was conceived as a statement on today’s internet culture and its treatment of women has gone terribly wrong.  We at LPA were so honored when Lena Dunham agreed to work with us on this capsule collection and, most importantly, thrilled at the exposure our work would give to such a serious issue.  We coordinated each aspect of the collection itself, to the chosen quotes to the design.  We were proud of our final product, the conversation it would start and – most importantly – the direct effect it would have on such an impactful charity in “Girls Write Now”. Where we faltered was not intention, sincerity or conception, but in my own lack of communication that lead to how the collection was portrayed on Revolve.com and the pre-mature release of the e-commerce imagery, a day prior to launch. We were planning to launch with an image of Lena in the sweatshirt along with our statement and explanation.  I cannot apologize enough to my good friend Lena, and others, to all of LPA’s fans.  We work hard to make the right choices every day, understanding the platform and the opportunity that we are lucky enough to have, and we are so sorry to have let you all down. We know the quotes within the collaboration were shocking, which was entirely the point. To spotlight how we've normalized the way we bully and speak negatively to one another via the internet. Given this controversy, we support Revolve.com and join them in their removal of the collection from our site.  We are also proud to make our own donation to “Girls Write Now” – in honor to their commitment to this admirable cause.

A post shared by LPA (@lpa) on

View this post on Instagram

What was conceived as a statement on today’s internet culture and its treatment of women has gone terribly wrong.  We at LPA were so honored when Lena Dunham agreed to work with us on this capsule collection and, most importantly, thrilled at the exposure our work would give to such a serious issue.  We coordinated each aspect of the collection itself, to the chosen quotes to the design.  We were proud of our final product, the conversation it would start and – most importantly – the direct effect it would have on such an impactful charity in “Girls Write Now”. Where we faltered was not intention, sincerity or conception, but in my own lack of communication that lead to how the collection was portrayed on Revolve.com and the pre-mature release of the e-commerce imagery, a day prior to launch. We were planning to launch with an image of Lena in the sweatshirt along with our statement and explanation.  I cannot apologize enough to my good friend Lena, and others, to all of LPA’s fans.  We work hard to make the right choices every day, understanding the platform and the opportunity that we are lucky enough to have, and we are so sorry to have let you all down. We know the quotes within the collaboration were shocking, which was entirely the point. To spotlight how we've normalized the way we bully and speak negatively to one another via the internet. Given this controversy, we support Revolve.com and join them in their removal of the collection from our site.  We are also proud to make our own donation to “Girls Write Now” – in honor to their commitment to this admirable cause.

A post shared by LPA (@lpa) on

View this post on Instagram

What was conceived as a statement on today’s internet culture and its treatment of women has gone terribly wrong.  We at LPA were so honored when Lena Dunham agreed to work with us on this capsule collection and, most importantly, thrilled at the exposure our work would give to such a serious issue.  We coordinated each aspect of the collection itself, to the chosen quotes to the design.  We were proud of our final product, the conversation it would start and – most importantly – the direct effect it would have on such an impactful charity in “Girls Write Now”. Where we faltered was not intention, sincerity or conception, but in my own lack of communication that lead to how the collection was portrayed on Revolve.com and the pre-mature release of the e-commerce imagery, a day prior to launch. We were planning to launch with an image of Lena in the sweatshirt along with our statement and explanation.  I cannot apologize enough to my good friend Lena, and others, to all of LPA’s fans.  We work hard to make the right choices every day, understanding the platform and the opportunity that we are lucky enough to have, and we are so sorry to have let you all down. We know the quotes within the collaboration were shocking, which was entirely the point. To spotlight how we’ve normalized the way we bully and speak negatively to one another via the internet. Given this controversy, we support Revolve.com and join them in their removal of the collection from our site.  We are also proud to make our own donation to “Girls Write Now” – in honor to their commitment to this admirable cause.

A post shared by LPA (@lpa) on

“What was conceived as a statement on today’s internet culture and its treatment of women has gone terribly wrong,” the brand wrote, adding that it took pride in the final product, intention, sincerity, and conception. The problem, from their perspective, was “the pre-mature release of the e-commerce imagery a day prior to launch.”

The items, it seems, were supposed to be modeled by or alongside Lena with an explanation; instead, they went online next to other products without context.

“We know the quotes within the collaboration were shocking, which was entirely the point,” LPA wrote. “To spotlight how we’ve normalized the way we bully and speak negatively to one another via the internet.”

In response to the backlash, the collection has been pulled from Revolve, according to a statement posted by London-based activist Florence Given, who was among the first to take issue with the clothes. In a conversation with Given, which she took screenshots of and posted on Instagram, LPA said it donated $20,000 to Girls Write Now as an act of reparation. Revolve didn’t immediately return Cosmopolitan.com’s request for comment.

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ITS BEEN CANCELLED! Yesterday I posted a screenshot of this jumper calling out @revolve – within minutes the brand was in contact with me and the listings were taken off the site – a few hours later it’s all over the news and @lpa decided to pull the distasteful collection COMPLETELY…We did this!!! • However, the fashion world still has a problem with fat bodies. There is still an eating disorder inducing narrative that is being filtered through our every day lives in advertising that says you CANNOT be happy the way you are, because there are industries that rely on your self doubting COIN! Speaking of which, Insatiable just got picked up for Season 2 despite it being rated the worst Netflix original series ever…what does that tell you about Netflix? I am done

A post shared by FLOSS (@florencegiven) on

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ITS BEEN CANCELLED! Yesterday I posted a screenshot of this jumper calling out @revolve – within minutes the brand was in contact with me and the listings were taken off the site – a few hours later it’s all over the news and @lpa decided to pull the distasteful collection COMPLETELY…We did this!!! • However, the fashion world still has a problem with fat bodies. There is still an eating disorder inducing narrative that is being filtered through our every day lives in advertising that says you CANNOT be happy the way you are, because there are industries that rely on your self doubting COIN! Speaking of which, Insatiable just got picked up for Season 2 despite it being rated the worst Netflix original series ever…what does that tell you about Netflix? I am done

A post shared by FLOSS (@florencegiven) on

View this post on Instagram

ITS BEEN CANCELLED! Yesterday I posted a screenshot of this jumper calling out @revolve – within minutes the brand was in contact with me and the listings were taken off the site – a few hours later it’s all over the news and @lpa decided to pull the distasteful collection COMPLETELY…We did this!!! • However, the fashion world still has a problem with fat bodies. There is still an eating disorder inducing narrative that is being filtered through our every day lives in advertising that says you CANNOT be happy the way you are, because there are industries that rely on your self doubting COIN! Speaking of which, Insatiable just got picked up for Season 2 despite it being rated the worst Netflix original series ever…what does that tell you about Netflix? I am done

A post shared by FLOSS (@florencegiven) on

Given isn’t letting those involved with the campaign get off so easily. “This collection and @revolve still suck,” she wrote in an Instagram caption. “This isn’t over.”

Follow Elizabeth on Instagram and Twitter.

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