The gluten-free movement gets dragged through the mud as a prime example of today’s Goop-reading, fad-diet–loving mania. But it’s important to remember that for many people, avoiding gluten is a necessity, not just a trendy lifestyle choice.
The Spanish-based clothing company Zara learned the hard way that not everyone appreciates gluten snark when it released a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “Are You Gluten Free?”
— ETceliaco (@ETceliaco) February 17, 2016
Celiac-disease sufferers weren’t happy to see a company “trivialize a health problem,” and outraged fans took to Change.org to create a petition against the shirt. Currently, the petition has more than 50,000 signatures advocating Zara to remove the product and apologize for its offensive message.
— Giorgio Montagna (@giorginom) February 3, 2016
Zara’s parent company has since obliged and offered its regrets in a statement:
— Amira (@amirakle) January 15, 2014
This is far from the first time a t-shirt has been under fire for trying to poke fun at our diet-obsessed culture. Back in 2010, actress Sophia Bush accused Urban Outfitters of promoting eating disorders with a shirt that read simply “eat less.” Bush boycotted the brand and urged fans to do the same in an open letter she wrote to Urban Outfitters on her blog.