Opinion

Florida Dillard’s forced to pull offensive holiday sign out of girls’ department

“Dear Santa, this year please give me a big fat bank account and a slim body. Please don’t mix those two up like you did last year. Thanks.”

Funny? Maybe. But not when it’s a message in the girls’ section of a popular department store, customers said.

A sign bearing this message was seen in the Dillard’s store at the Mall at Wellington Green on Friday in Wellington, Fla., by a customer and mother of three who posted a picture of it on Facebook, according to WPTV.

“What would a little girl want with a bank account? It gives the wrong message about having a slim body. That’s not the message we want to give our kids,” Sally Stewart said upon seeing the sign.

“It’s kinda funny because a woman who wants to wish for that should make it happen for herself,” she told the station.

Clinical psychiatrist Dr. Rachel Needle said that while children are particularly susceptible to media messaging, signs like this one could negatively influence anyone.

 Santa sign 1“Parents, teachers, anybody need to begin to talk to kids about body image, body satisfaction,” she told WPTV. “They need to be careful about how they talk to themselves because children pick up on the way we talk to ourselves about our own bodies. And that as a society the three-letter ‘f word’ needs to be removed from our vocabulary completely.”

Shoppers Kaylee Oh, 20, and her mother, Dolores, agreed.

“It makes me think that I should be very, very focused on how I look, and I should want to be thinner than I am and have more money than I do,” Kaylee told WPTV.

“How you look isn’t the most important thing,” Dolores added. “Just to be healthy is more important.”

The sign was removed from the girls’ section, where Dillard’s employees told WPTV that it was never intended to be displayed. Subsequent reports said that Dillard’s had instructed all stores to stop displaying the sign.

Watch the report from WPTV here:

George Upper

George Upper is a U.S. Army special operations veteran, an academic, a poet, and an MBA who started writing political news and commentary when people stopped listening to his rants in person.

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