Chicago Pride Parade float drawing criticism for negative body image message

Thu. July 3, 2014 11:53 AM by News Staff

Chicago, IL - One float from the 205 registered entries at Sunday's Chicago Pride Parade is getting considerable attention -- for all the wrong reasons.

First reported by Joe Erbentraut of the Huffington Post, a controversy has grown over a float created by Chicago Liposuction, which offers cellulite removal, tummy tucks and liposuction. Critics say the float featured troubling signs that read "Say NO to man boobs!" and "Don't love your love handles?"

"I think what is most disappointing about the float is that it used a chance to be an ally and supporter of the LGBT community to instead perpetuate negative and shaming messages about all bodies -- gay or straight," Chicago-based author Zach Stafford told "Pride is supposed to be about celebrating everyone, no matter your shape, size, etc.. Of course Pride does fail at this in many others ways, and is not perfect, which we could talk about for hours. So this should be looked at as one of many examples that reminds us that we need to celebrate Pride in a way that isn't reductive, but rather more inclusive of everyone."

Stafford, who writes and speaks about his experiences as a gay man who battled eating disorders, talked in detail to the Huffington Post about the controversy.

Chicago Liposuction said it regrets the offensive message and apologized to parade organizer Richard Pfeiffer.

Read more on Huffington Post

Related: More than 1 million people celebrate at Chicago Pride Parade