There Are Body-Shaming Cartoons Hanging In Lilly Pulitzer’s HQ

Photo: Via @lillypulitzer.
The inside of the Lilly Pulitzer headquarters looks a lot like what you'd expect it to. Nicknamed “The Pink Palace,” the Pennsylvania office has walls filled with color swatches in every shade of summer, and the employees are dressed like professional vacationers — tropical prints, bright colors, with just a splash of cocktail jewelry. At least that’s what we can gather from The Cut's inside look, published this morning. But, the most surprising interior shot — and the most troubling — is of the body-shaming cartoons pinned to a cubicle wall.

In The Cut’s 20-plus images of happy employees, playful patterns, and bright fabric samples is a depiction of two illustrations of cartoon women: one says “Just another day of…Fat, White, and Hideous…You should probably just kill yourself…” and the other, “Put it down, carb face.”

As of this morning, the photo was posted without a caption, leaving readers to wonder how and where a body-shaming message like this was displayed in the Lilly Pulitzer offices. Some of the first responses of shock and anger were on social media: “Pics of Lilly Pulitzer offices but LP staff forgot to take down fat-shaming cartoons on fridge,” tweeted @socarolinesays. Blogger Sarah Conley tweeted: “Now we know why @LillyPulitzer hid all the mention of plus sizes from the @target press release & launch event,” referring to the brand's recent Target collaboration, the first to offer clothing in a plus-size range (though only online).   
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While The Cut has since updated its story to explain that the images were the personal drawings of an employee who hung them in her cubicle (and wasn't pictured in the story), that doesn't make them any less worrisome. They come across as especially hypocritical in light of a quote from the brand's senior manager of social media marketing and public relations, Eleni Tavantzis, that appears in the slideshow. "Lilly herself was ultra-inclusive," Tavantzis told The Cut. "When I talk about the wild parties that she threw, she was known for always inviting her favorite gardener, and the heiress next door in Palm Beach. Everybody was in the kitchen helping make the fruit salad, pour the Bloody Marys — everybody got their hands dirty. Everybody got to party."

In a statement, Lilly Pulitzer's vice president of creative communications, Jane Schoenborn, says: "These illustrations were the work of one individual and were posted in her personal work area." Schoenborn adds that, "While we are an employer that does encourage people to decorate their own space, we are a female-dominated company and these images do not reflect our values. We apologize for any harm this may have caused.”


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