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Target may be a low-priced fashion icon, but the company has come under fire in April for an offensive description for a plus-size dress. The maxi dress comes in a variety of colors and sizes, but in the plus-size, the grey color was referred to as “manatee grey” and in the smaller sizes, the grey color was referred to as “dark heather grey.” That’s probably a flub from the company’s end, but it’s still pretty difficult to explain away.
An avid tweeter, Susan Clemens, was the first to bring the flub to light via her Twitter account, making the correlation between the size of the dress and the size of a manatee.
The color differentiation seems a little mean-spirited, but according to Target, manatee grey is actually a color used in other lines of Target clothing—for all shapes and sizes. According to Forbes, the color differentiation between the two products occurred because two different teams were working on the two maxi dress accounts. One group used the official color name and the other group chose to use different words to describe the color.
That’s a totally understandable explanation. However, even if manatee grey is normally a Target color, the outlet may want to rethink the name of that color. No one wants to look at products online and choose one called “manatee grey.” That’s unflattering to think about for women wearing any size, no offense to the manatees of the world. Maybe it worked when the items were stocked on shelves and there was no color description, but I, for one, won’t be picking up manatee grey online anytime soon.