Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Are we getting a little touchy about being politically correct?


April 9, 2013

I was browsing the web the other day and noticed a story about people being upset with Target’s online store because of a small gaffe over a dress color.

I am a Target lover, as are a majority of people who live in Lake Stevens I am sure, so I had to stop and read the story.

It seems that on Target’s website they offered a kimono maxi-dress in both regular and plus sizes. However, the regular sized dress was offered in “dark heather gray” while the plus size dress was offered in “manatee gray.”

Now, if you search Target’s website you will see that they offer other items in the “manatee gray” color such as men’s t-shirts and bed and bath items.

However, one reader decided that it was extremely offensive that the plus-sized dress would be called “manatee gray” and not “dark heather gray” as is the regular sized dress.

She was upset enough to tweet about it saying, “What the. Plus sized women get “Manatee Grey” while standard sizes are “Dark Heather Grey.” @Target #notbuyingit and included the layouts of each dress from the website.

My first thought was that maybe this woman has a little too much time on her hands. The fact that she can be browsing a website and find this small blunder and then take the time to tweet about it?

Of course Target was extremely apologetic and fixed the problem immediately and even tweeted the apology to it’s over 350,000 followers.

“We apologize for this unintentional oversight & never intend to offend our guests. We’ve heard you, and we’re working to fix it ASAP,” they wrote.

They even apologized directly to the woman who sent the original tweet.

Way to go Target!

The problem is that in this world of incredibly speedy technology and social media we sometimes focus on things that really don’t matter and get others riled up over insignificant things like the name of a color.

I have to admit; it took me a while to understand what the big deal was. My first thought was the color of the beautiful marine mammal, not its size. I really don’t think I am alone in this thought process. I mean it was describing a color, not a size or shape right?

There are words we should never use to describe anyone or anything and we should get offended if someone uses those terms in our presence. However, calling a gray plus sized dress “manatee gray” really shouldn’t be something we get bent out of shape over. Political correctness has gone a little too far in this matter.

I do have to mention that the original tweeter did accept Target’s apology and publicly thanked them on Twitter saying, “@Target handled it really well, I’m still a big fan.”

I continue to be a big fan too Target!


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