Almost Famous burger chain removes bathroom slogans after outcry

03 September 2014 by
Almost Famous burger chain removes bathroom slogans after outcry

A burger restaurant chain has painted over the walls in its female bathrooms after the slogan designs sparked outrage online.

The Leeds branch of Almost Famous was criticised by food writer Helen Graves after she blogged about the site's female bathroom, whose wall design featured slogans detailing body insecurities.

The slogans included: "Why can't I be thinner?", "Does my tan look streaky?", "I really need a nose job", "My boobs are too small", "I wish I was a little bit taller", and "laxatives are definitely the answer".

There was reportedly no similar or equivalent design in the men's bathroom, which instead is said to have a long quote from Patrick Bateman, the antihero of the novel American Psycho, about face-washing.

Graves took a photo of the wall and wrote a blogpost entitled "Fries with your misogyny, madam?" in which she said: "Your eyes do not deceive you. It's a list of women's potential insecurities, written on a toilet wall. What could motivate someone to do this?"

She added that "this kind of pathetic woman-bashing" was designed to be edgy, and said that while it angered her, she feared that other women would "feel awful about themselves and whichever part of their body Almost Famous has reminded them they're not satisfied with".

Just 24 hours after Graves's blogpost was published (prompting discussion on Twitter) the Almost Famous website posted an apology, and a photo of an employee painting over the designs (below).

The statement said: "The designs in our female toilets have caused upset and we are sorry. Almost Famous is a young company, we take risks, but we got this one wrong. We want to stress our intentions weren't to offend. The designs were created by a female employee to voice her own and other women's insecurities. We accept we didn't communicate this properly. The designs are currently being removed from all of our restaurants."

Photo: Almost Famous*

*Despite">*Despite high levels of support from some, Graves has also since received threats and negative comments via Twitter and her blog, variously accusing her of not having a sense of humour, and defending the original wall designs as "just cool".
North West-based burger company Almost Famous has a deliberately provocative menu that aims to appeal to young people, including burgers named "Suicide", "Butter Blood and Bleu", and "Shut Up America", and fries such as "Love Hate".

Originally opened in Manchester, where it has two sites, the chain also operates a branch in Liverpool.

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