Thursday, 7 May 2009

Tempest in a D cup

So the Facebook group Busts 4 Justice has renewed its campaign against Marks & Spencer, claiming that by charging £2 more for bras sized DD cup and larger, the retailer is guilty of "blatant discrimination".

Discrimination is charging a black woman £2 more for the exact same bra as a white woman. Discrimination is allowing Christians but not Muslims into your store to purchase said bra. Discrimination is paying a woman £2 an hour less than a man for designing bras. Charging £2 more for what M&S, in a statement issued last July, said is "the specialist work to ensure the suitable level of support, innovation, and technology that goes into the [larger] bras" is not discrimination.

In the States it's common for retailers to charge a few dollars more for plus-size versions of regular-size apparel, ostensibly to cover the extra materials. I used to think that it was a bit ingenuous not to charge a few bucks less for petite versions (back when I still fitted into petite versions), but hardly discriminatary.

If Busts 4 Justice wants to boycott M&S, that's fine. But to call this "blatant discrimination" makes a mockery of the concept of discrimination and diminishes examples of true, and truly harmful, discrimination.

Lingerie cataloguer Simply Yours has the right idea, however: If you search for Busts 4 Justice in Google, you see a sponsored link on the top right column from Simply Yours with the header "We Love Busts 4 Justice!" The copy underneath reads, "Get 10% Off All Our Great FittingGorgeous Lingerie For Curvy Girls!" What a great way to quickly take advantage of a competitor's weakness.--SC

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