Lush accused of fat shaming on Instagram

Consumers debate on social media whether the skin care brand's digital tactics to promote its screening of documentary 'What The Health' was fat shaming or just stating statistics

Lush has previously been praised for its inclusive marketing

Lush has been accused of fat shaming after a recent Instagram post was interpreted as taking a sidestep from inclusive and body positive marketing.

The brand posted on Instagram an image gallery promoting the screening of documentary What The Health.

The film, which screens in London tonight, aims to reveal what its creators call 'possibly the largest health cover-up of our time'.

According to the film's website, the makers expose the "collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of health care dollars, and keeping us sick".

Lush created an image gallery via Instagram quoting claims from the film, such as:

Source: Instagram/@Lush

However, a Twitter user flagged up the difference between a previous marketing campaign, where women of different shapes and sizes stand naked with their backs to the camera, with an Instagram post publicising the screening of a film called What The Health.

Fellow Twitter users also revealed their shock at the post.

The post also received criticism from opinion columns, such as lifestyle website The Pool.

The Pool's recent article regarding Lush's controversial post

But not everyone agreed that Lush contradicted its ethical beliefs by using plus sized models and citing obesity statistics.

Digital apologies

Lush took to Instagram to apologise to consumers who were hurt by the original post.

According to the Instagram post, Lush’s Ethical Director hopes to open up a discussion about what else could be done to redeem the situation, writing:

“Who would you like to see talk about body image issues? Are there any films or content you think we should show?

“Let's make an evening where we can come together, celebrate, discuss and educate on this really important issue of our time.”

Hilary, Lush Ethics Director here. I want to say a truly sincere sorry regarding our previous posts, which have caused some of you to reach out raising concerns re body image issues and fat shaming. I am in total agreement and there is no meaningful defence I could tender for the offending post. The only people we have shamed on this occasion are ourselves! Tonight we are hosting the film 'What The Health' at our London studio, and the social posts we have published to advertise this screening do not do the film justice and do not do the issues of diversity and inclusion justice either - all of which are things we care about and should know better how to speak of. With this in mind, my suggestion is that we host a future event at our London studio to discuss these issues. I am reaching out to all of you that have expressed concern to not just come to this event, but to help create it. Who would you like to see talk about body image issues? Are there any films or content you think we should show? Let's make an evening where we can come together, celebrate, discuss and educate on this really important issue of our time.

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