FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – It is Halloween season, and many are shopping for costumes.
While shopping for their costume, people often have to choose their costumes based off of categories like gender and age.
However, some who were shopping on Wal-Mart.com found a section labeled “Fat Girl Costumes.”
That label offended many in the community.
“Everyone is different shapes and sizes,” said Rachel Parsons, a local woman who was shopping for a costume. “But, you should be proud of what you are. [Costume size] shouldn’t be seen as something negative.”
“That just going to steer people away. No one wants to buy a costume if it says ‘fat sized’ on it,” said Chris Stoddart, a local man shopping for his costume. “If it fit you, that is just going to make you feel bad about yourself.”
Many people that 5NEWS spoke to say Halloween is meant to give people an opportunity to escape from reality.
“You get to be anything you want for one day,” Parsons said.
The label was quickly taken down from Walmart.com
Walmart.com spokesman Bao Nguyen released the following statement to 5NEWS.
“This never should have been on our site. It is unacceptable, and we apologize. We worked quickly to remove it this morning and are taking additional steps to ensure this never happens again.”
Spirit Halloween has a location in Fayetteville and Fort Smith. They say they don’t categorize costumes on their sales floors by size.
“It is the one day that we get to unwind, and un-stress, and pretty much do and be anything we want,” said Amy Mendelsohn, the store manager at the Fayetteville costume shop Spirit Halloween. “We don’t do an actual plus-sized section. It is just mixed in throughout the entire store. There is not a designated plus size section.”
Spirit Halloween tells 5NEWS that their policy for plus-sized costumes is to label them with a yellow stripe, and place them with all other sizes of the same design of costume.
Many of those who spoke to 5NEWS said that costumes shouldn’t be based on size, but rather on how they make someone feel.
“They should just keep the classics with small, medium, large, XL, XXL,” Stoddart said. “That has been working for businesses for who knows how long? A lot of these costumes are designed to be the opposite [of offensive towards customers], and make you feel a whole lot better about yourself.”
The retailer has since changed the page name to "Women's Plus Size Halloween Costumes," but you can see the original page labeling and URL to the right.