Indiana Daily Student

Exploiting disorders is tasteless and tacky

Both clothing brands and restaurants seem to lack filters recently.

Urban Outfitters’ Kent State sweatshirt was not the first time the clothing store started an uproar. They’ve also sold a shirt with the word “depression” embellished all over it.

Meanwhile, Almost Famous Burgers, a burger restaurant in the United Kingdom, had to recently redecorate the women’s bathrooms at every location.

Why? Because the wallpaper was printed with a list of female insecurities — everything from “Why can’t I be thinner?” and “I need a nose job” to “Does my tan look streaky?”

Both of these companies might have intended to raise awareness about issues such as depression. Maybe they were trying to make a joke.

But the messages they sent were incredibly ?offensive.

Depression is a mental disorder that needs to be taken seriously.

It is especially prevalent among college students. Because of the big life decistions students must make, the multiple transitions students must go through in college and the stresses college life can place on an individual, students are more vulnerable to depression.

This, of course, can lead to serious consequences, such as self-harm, drug addiction, drinking and death.

Urban Outfitters is the clothing of choice for many college students, especially here in Bloomington. The store might have thought its edgy depression crop was a joke or that it would raise awareness, but it comes off as an attempt to make depression a fashion ?statement.

A victim of depression, even here on this campus, may view the crop top and feel hopeless or ashamed, because the company so clearly doesn’t take the disorder seriously.

This was true of Almost Famous Burgers. The company released a statement apologizing for the wallpaper and said the design was created by a female employee to “voice her own and other women’s insecurities.”

Although the intention was to voice insecurities, the restaurant shouldn’t have plastered them all over their walls.

There were hundreds of other options, including donating to centers that provide help for suffering women or to camps for young girls.

In short, there were simply better ways of talking about the issue.

Instead, it only served as a reminder of the areas in which women feel they fail.

Restaurant and clothing brands that are marketed ?toward college-aged students are exploiting depression when it is such a prevalent and serious issue among their consumers.

It is very frustrating to think these designs received the brands’ stamps of ?approval.

Money was invested in producing these offensive designs.

It’s as if these businesses lack any type of empathy or common sense.

Depression is not a product that should be sold to be hung in a closet or on a wall. It is a serious issue.

Brands need to put a filter on and start providing resources to help their consumers with depression instead of exploiting it.

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