Who doesn't like manatees? They're slow. They're cute. They kind of look like they're smiling. It's fun to feed them lettuce. But you probably don't want to wear a dress that evokes the appearance of one.
I bring this valuable information to you in the slow, gentle wake (appropriate for a manatee zone) of a recent blip in the otherwise pretty politically-correct history of Target. Recently, Susan Clemens, an eagle-eyed customer with arguably much better vision than a manatee, was perusing the superstore's various offerings when she came across a most disheartening discovery: A Mossimo maxi dress available in both regular and plus sizes, in identical color palettes, was labeled in two very different ways: namely, 'Dark Heather Gray' and 'Manatee Gray,' respectively.
Are you totally having a (sea) cow right now? Clemens did--enough to tweet her findings to Target, along with the hashtag #notbuyingit.
Target was quick to respond, issuing a Twitter apology to her saying, "We apologize for this unintentional oversight & never intend to offend our guests. We've heard you, and we're working to fix it ASAP." A Target spokesperson explained the incident further to Forbes, saying that Target, in fact, stocks several items, regardless of size, with the 'Manatee Gray' label--and that this mix-up was purely the result of miscommunication between buyers--not a fat-shaming techie taking the mickey.
“We apologize for any discomfort this might have caused and are working to update the name of the dress to reflect Dark Heather Gray. This was an unfortunate oversight and we’ll take it into consideration moving forward.”
But as of 3pm this afternoon, the plus-size version in gray has vanished from Target.com. Meanwhile, the regular sized version is still called 'Dark Heather Gray.' Could it be that women actually want to dress like manatees (as Jezebel points out, 'Manatee Gray' is the cuter name of the two)? Or did Target's PR people get so freaked out by the whole incident, they just couldn't deal and tried to act like none of it ever happened?
At least one thing's for sure: In spite of all the hubbub, Susan Clemens really likes manatees.