Moschino's New Gym T-Shirts Call Upon Food Shaming

To me, luxury brand Moschino has always seemed to focus on fun concepts and bold prints — rather than co-opting serious social issues. Unfortunately, Moschino's food shaming T-shirts now available on Shopbop don't really align with that perception. As reported by Cosmopolitan on Oct. 27, Moschino has released a set of three equally problematic cotton gym shirts. The brand has not yet responded to Bustle's request for comment.

IMO, these tees are not original, not funny, and not ironic or witty. Two of the newly released tops present us with images of a food item (an ice cream and a burger) and their caloric value underneath. They then reveal a calculation of how much exercise would be required to burn said calories from your system.

This certainly seems to imply that with each burger we eat, we should be counting up the fat intake and running straight to the gym to quickly remove it from our bodies. We already have phrases like "guilty treat," "cheat day," or "I've been good/bad (in relation to eating)" that contribute to relating food to guilt. Emblazoning them across a shirt only adds to a negative relationship with eating.

The third T-shirt plays more into the OTT branding that Moschino has made popular in its past, but swerves straight past ironic playfulness and straight into shaming.

Instead of making us question iconography, reality versus fashion, the media, or society, the brand is profiting off of insecurities arguably invented by fashion and beauty industries. We are then reminded that more important than combatting socially engrained body image issues is wearing those very issues on our sleeves.

These tees are, however, a huge step away from Moschino's McDonald's collection that hit the runway in 2014, which led to a lot of mixed opinions about the brand's utilization of the fast food giant's signature logos.

On the one hand, some health campaigners stepped forward to argue that Moschino was promoting unhealthy lifestyles and obesity by changing a fast food company from a food resource to a fashion statement. On the other hand, some actual McDonald's workers claimed that Moschino was mocking minimum wage by using the iconic images of the fast food chain on garments costing $1,000 or more, when the workers who have to wear the uniforms and promote the brand on a daily basis are often allegedly earning minimum wage.

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Personally, I was intrigued and delighted to by the salute to fast food by such a high end brand. By promoting — or mocking — fast food (whichever the case may be), the McDonald's/Moschino mash-up meant that there was potential for a new perception of food in the fashion world.

Far from glorifying obesity, I feel that the Moschino collection was trying to highlight differing perceptions of "unhealthy lifestyles." Sure, eating McDonald's every day is likely going to be bad for you physically. But the demands put on the public regarding weight and lifestyle (which often seem to come from the fashion world) are damaging in their own right. Not just physically, but mentally as well.

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As Charles Manning put it in his Cosmopolitan call out of Moschino's food shaming through the new tees, "For a mere $130, you can wear your food issues and your skinny jeans at the same time." If you ask me, it's about time the world of fashion use its power to eradicate body shaming language from our common vernacular and use it instead to incite inclusivity, acceptance, and body positivity.

Images: Shopbop/Moschino