Transport for London (TfL) has come under fire this weekend after an offensive, body-shaming message was posted on one of its service information boards.
The handwritten message, which appeared as the 'quote of the day' on the board at Blackhorse Road Underground Station in northeast London, read: "During this heatwave, please dress for the body you have... not the body you want!"
A photo of the message was shared on Twitter yesterday by Michael Hawkes, a London-based food and travel blogger.
Hawkes' followers were quick to condemn the ill-conceived message, branding it "gross" and "grim".
TfL has since apologised to Hawkes directly, tweeting at him: "Sorry that this was put up at Blackhorse Road. We've flagged it up to the station who've now removed the message. Thanks for letting us know about this."
As Londoners and anyone who uses the Tube regularly will know, many stations on the network use their service information boards to post humorous, lighthearted and inspiring quotes. In the wake of the March 2017 Westminster terrorist attack, stations including Tower Hill, Oval and Tooting Bec sought to unify commuters by posting rousing messages of defiance.
North Greenwich Underground Station, where concert-goers alight for the O2, is known for posting witty messages referencing the song lyrics of the artist performing that evening. This Celine Dion-themed post from last July is especially creative.
But this weekend's poorly judged "quote" at Blackhorse Road isn't the first time in recent memory that a TfL noticeboard message has been off the mark. In February, on the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, Colliers Wood station in southwest London displayed an embarrassing sexist (non) joke.
These slip-ups suggest that every "thought of the day" post should at least be double-checked before being shared with the public. A witty underground station message can put a smile on a grumpy commuter's face, but an offensive one can really put a dampener on someone's day.
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