Macy’s ‘Mom Jeans’ Portion Control Plates Receive Backlash

Critics say that a line of Pourtions-brand plates both mom-shame and promote eating disorders. That prompted Macy's to remove the plates from its shelves.

Photo of Macy's 'mom jean' portion control plates
Photo via @alieward on Twitter

When I was in middle school, I had a very negative relationship with food. I was short and overweight as a child and I had a bully that teased me relentlessly for it.

Over time, I began to believe the nasty words that he spit at me on a daily basis. I really did believe that I was “disgusting.” I flinched whenever I heard someone oink like a pig or moo like a cow, and I truly believed that I was unworthy of love.

As I grew into my body – and after the a–hole moved away – my self-confidence would eventually flourish, but at the time, when I was 11 or 12 years old, I was completely devastated by his words.

For a month or two, I would only eat maybe once or twice a week. When I did give my body the sustenance that it needed, it would only be a salad or half an apple.

I’m lucky that my parents caught on pretty quickly and that I didn’t do any damage to myself. Heck, I didn’t even end up in the hospital and eventually I did learn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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But that isn’t the case for everyone. Eating disorders can be incredibly dangerous.

In fact, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders says that more than 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from eating disorders in the United States – and one of them dies as a direct result every 62 minutes.

Moral of the story: Eating disorders aren’t a laughing matter. But that didn’t stop retail chain, Macy’s, from peddling a plate that many say promote them.

The line of plates by the brand, Pourtions, was sold in at the flagship store’s Manhattan location inside of the in-store concept shop, Story. The purpose of the plate, the Huffington Post reports, was to “provide ‘helpful – and hilarious – visual cues’ that will ‘spice up your dinner table, and your conversation.'”

And they definitely missed the mark with a dinner plate that was marked with three different portion control rings (think a bullseye) with the inner circle labeled “skinny jeans,” the middle labeled “favorite jeans” and the largest outer ring labeled “mom jeans.”

When Alie Ward, the science correspondent for Innovation Nation on CBS tweeted a photo of the plates to her 37.5K followers, they blew up with mixed reviews.

Some critics of the plates claimed that the plates are inappropriate and both mom-shame and promote eating disorders. Others disagree with that take and say the plates are funny – while still others call Ward out for trying to control what others could buy.

Personally, I find the dinner plate rude. Having gone through a period of time during which I hated food, a plate like this might have motivated me to starve myself even more.

People are already pressured with insane beauty standards – which I’ll admit are getting better – that a lot of people just can’t obtain. And that’s OK. What’s not OK is making people, moms in particular, feel bad about their bodies. That’s not really helpful to anyone.

That said, an outright ban of the line may be going a bit too far. Sure, the dinner plate is over-the-top, but some of Pourtions’ other cheeky dinnerware and glassware items could be entertaining to someone out there.

Still, Macy’s has opted to take the line off of its shelves. So if you want one of the plates, you’ll have to go through Pourtions directly.

What do you think of this line of plates? Would you buy or do they go too far? Tell us in the comments.

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