When I first read the news article a few days ago about a woman complaining about Target labeling the color of a plus-size dress “Manatee Gray”, I didn’t get it right away. My immediate word association with a manatee were traits like gentle, docile, mellow. What was wrong with that?
Then, of course, I realized that manatees have another rather distinguishing characteristic: they are large. Quite large. And rotundly, profoundly round. And that made the complaint about Manatee Gray just plain humorous to me.
If you didn’t read the article, or the many jokes about it, then here it is in a nutshell: Target’s website listed a regular size dress as “Dark Heather Gray”, but the same dress in plus-size as “Manatee Gray”. A potential customer spotted the discrepancy in color names and, offended, Tweeted a complaint to Target. The color description of the plus-size dress is now simply “Gray”.
Manatee Gray is actually a color label used across Target’s website for men’s shirts (up to size XX Large), towels, bath rugs, pillows, and sheet sets. So the color was not hand-picked for a plus-size dress, though most of the news articles made it sound like the color name had been a spiteful attack directed at larger-sized women.
I fully support customers speaking up, complaining, and demanding change when the situation calls for it. But given that Manatee Gray is a common color description across different categories on Target’s website, I have to conclude that perhaps some people had too much time on their hands and not even real problems in their lives to whip up a controversy and take the time to gripe about this. As Karin Kline summarizes quite succinctly in the LA Times, “Hypersensitivity might not be much of an improvement over insensitivity.”
Exactly! May I then suggest the plus-size dress in Drama-Diva Denim or Crybaby Coral?