Luggage and handbag company Vera Bradley just released a new ad campaign using the hashtag #itsgoodtobeagirl (side eye), inviting its followers to submit reasons why they’re glad to “be a girl.” The company then uses the responses on billboards and across social media.
— Vera Bradley (@verabradley) August 25, 2016
Great idea in concept, but the hashtag and responses the brand chose for the campaign have left many disappointed.
A photo posted by @verabradley on Sep 16, 2016 at 3:09pm PDT
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for the Twitterverse to come forward condemning the campaign as anti-feminist and degrading, considering the bulk of the quotes focus on trivial things like makeup, being a “lady” and indulging in sweets — not exactly the empowering girl images we’ve seen in similar campaigns by companies like Aerie, Dove, and Always.
According to Buzzfeed, the company has seen a decline in sales over the last three years, and this campaign was meant to be part of a reboot, targeting a younger, more millennial demographic.
Pretty sure they may missed the mark here. Women weighed in to point out that the brand’s demographic is women, that women have to carry bags because their clothing often doesn’t have pockets, and pointing out that the wage gap is a priority over being “a girl.”
veloci_thatcher wrote, on the brands Instagram, “Ugh @verabradley ! I hate that a company founded by women is celebrating only the superficial with this campaign. “Girly” coffee orders, lipstick, spontaneous shopping …none of these are bad, but it feels imbalanced and trivial. For me, it’s #goodtobeagirl in America because I was the first woman in my family to graduate from college with a nursing degree. Then, my mom — with support from me and my grandma — got out of an abusive relationship with my father to attend college at 50 years old. Three generations supporting one another. But, I guess we did wear lipstick too. Though, I hope that’s not your main takeaway. I am unfollowing so that I don’t become an internet troll — but sometimes I just have to speak out.?
Most of your clothing doesn’t have pockets or has tiny worthless ones, so you are forced to accessorize with a cute bag. #itsgoodtobeagirl
— Erin (@Troopererin) September 20, 2016
— Sarah Azriella (@SarahAzriella) August 25, 2016
— Kristin V. (@KLDVComedy) September 20, 2016
— Stephanie Carrigg (@scarrigg38) September 21, 2016
#itsgoodtobeagirl this hashtag and its contents suck
— Chris Fitzgerald (@ceefitz) September 20, 2016
— RAKISHA K.W. (@kikishoes) September 20, 2016