I appreciate the concern and the maturity in the letter. It was never mine or Ava’s intention to offend anyone or promote or endorse hurtful, negative things about body image and identity. These aren’t things that align with mine or Ava’s beliefs or experiences. It was never our intention to promote anything bad or toxic.
Our intention was to do a fun and satirical piece on random things that we are interested in. The intention was to come off as witty and funny: hence the bright pink and blue layout, the bolded quotes on narcissism, and the conversation-style writing of the story. When Ava and I approach writing a column, we typically go for this comedic angle in writing. Something that Ava and I should have done with this story is emphasize that the story reflects us and our experiences in life and in high school.
The intention was never meant to create “guidelines” for people to follow. It was never our intention to put down or belittle people with the topics we chose, but we specifically picked topics to poke fun at ourselves and no one else.
Personally, I was aware of the controversy around Brandy Melville’s sizing, but not the remarks of their CEO. In the quote: “Their clothes are so comfortable, not too expensive and the sizing is marketed to all (that’s a whole other topic),” I added the part in parenthesis, trying to highlight the flaws of the company’s “one size fits all” sizing. Many products are advertised as an “oversized fit.” I never intended to or meant to endorse or agree with the idea of one size fitting all; I only just pointed out that it was marketed that way.
Both Ava and I have struggled with body image, eating and the struggles that come with it, so of course, we understand the concern and frustration with how our article came off as. On behalf of myself, Ava and the Echo, I am very sorry for any hurt that our article may have caused. It was never our intention to do so.
As I mentioned earlier, I really appreciate your maturity of coming to the Echo and with your concern. If I had a problem with something published as an outside reader, it’s what I would do too. Posting on public or private social media about how you don’t like Ava or I, or our writing, is hypocritical, considering the criticism of our article and its ignorance.
I understand if someone doesn’t like this article, but using it as an excuse to talk behind our backs just about us is unproductive. Personal attacks, whether in person or through social media, seem immature and unhelpful. Being openly gay at WGHS, I’ve dealt with my fair share of bullies, criticisms, taunts and scoffs in the hallways, but using my writing as an excuse to be blatantly rude is unfair.
I do apologize for any hurt feelings the article may have caused, as that was not our intention. I take accountability for my writing and position on the Echo, and I’m very prideful in it.
This will be Jackson Parks’ second year on ECHO staff, but he made several contributions while taking journalism class his sophomore year. He served as Junior Editor his first year on staff.