A young woman was deeply offended by a sweater she saw being sold at Target. She immediately grabbed it from the shelf and snapped a photo, in utter disbelief that any retailer would sell such a thing. Should Target keep selling it anyway?
Reign Murphy was deeply disturbed while shopping at Target after an ugly red, green, and white sweater caught her eye. It wasn’t the color scheme that was an issue, however. The “insensitive” words emblazoned across the front were what was really ugly to Reign. She was so disgusted, she snapped a photo and put the large US retailer on blast.
Alongside a photo of herself holding the “offensive” top, which read, “OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder,” Reign tweeted, “I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t sell my mental illness as a fashion statement,” admitting she suffers from real OCD. The tweet quickly went viral, receiving over a thousand retweets, as Target came under fire for the sweater with it’s $22.40 price tag for regular size and $24 for plus size.
The disparity in cost, of course, wasn’t the issue. Although “Obsessive Christmas Disorder” has become a phrase that many product designers have used on merchandise, describing those who love all things Christmas and perhaps go overboard, the play on obsessive-compulsive disorder had some sufferers of the mental illness fuming.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 2.2 million American adults suffer from OCD, and a lot of them were seemingly ready to weigh in on the issue. Some customers, like Reign Murphy, felt the message on the shirt made light of mental illness and criticized the festive garment for trivializing it. Kate Gannon joined Reign, tweeting a photo of the sweater.
Soon, Twitter was filled with similar sentiments as several other social media users blasted the retail giant. “I am annoyed we still live in a world where picking fun at mental health is okay,” and, “Why is trivializing a mental disorder so widely accepted?” were just a couple of the many critical tweets.
But, others, including some who claimed to have OCD, felt the outrage was unnecessary and defended Target’s sale of the garment. “As someone with OCD, Target’s OCD sweater doesn’t offend me the least bit,” one Twitter user posted as another humorously added, “As someone who has OCD, I don’t see any reason to be angry about Target’s ‘offensive’ sweater – it’s perfectly even!”
Target ultimately responded to the backlash with an apology but seemed to tell customers to get over it at the same time. “We never want to disappoint any of our guests and apologize for any discomfort,” Target spokesman Jessica Carlson said in an email. However, the sweater wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon despite the outcry from those who felt the message belittled and mocked a serious mental disorder.