The Makers Of These ‘Portion Control’ Plates, Sold At Macy’s, Do Not See The Problem

Made by Pourtions, the plates feature three circles of different sizes in which to place food, all labelled as different types of jeans

macy's plates banned

by Hannah Banks-Walker |
Published on

On Sunday, Macy's announced that it would no longer stock a line of plates that had sparked debate on Twitter. Designed by a company called Pourtions, the plates in question feature three circles of different sizes designed to illustrate different portion sizes, helpfully named as different types of jeans. 'Mom jeans' is the largest circle, followed by 'favourite jeans' and, finally, 'skinny jeans', which is the smallest circle on the plate. When writer Alie Ward saw a picture of them, she tweeted it with the caption 'How do I get these plates banned in all 50 states?'

Thus began a Twitter debate, with many – mostly men, it has to be said – responding directly to Ward's tweet questioning everything from her sense of humour to her own favoured portion size. Nice. Jameela Jamil also joined in, tweeting her own distaste on seeing the plates. Macy's did respond quickly, however, saying to both Ward and Jamil: 'We appreciate you sharing this with us and agree that we missed the mark on this product. It will be removed from all STORY at Macy's locations.'

Jamil responded with: 'Thanks to @Macys for acting fast. I’m always in search of progress and not perfection. Our society is having to unlearn all of this hyper-normalized anti-fatness. It’s so vital that those of us with the biggest platforms do our part in destabilizing it, because it’s hateful.'

So far, so good, you may be thinking. And that, to an extent, is the case. Macy's recognised the issue and reacted accordingly. The plates, however, are still available to buy wholesale through Pourtions' own website. The brand has also responded to the reaction to the plates in an, er, interesting way.

Mary Cassidy, president of Pourtions, said in an email to CNN: 'We feel very strongly about the positive, light hearted message conveyed by our glasses & plates. The response today has been overwhelmingly positive, including more interest in Pourtions & sales today than ever before.

'As the creators of Pourtions, we feel badly if what was meant to be a lighthearted take on the important issue of portion control was hurtful to anyone. Pourtions is intended to support healthy eating and drinking. Everyone who has appreciated Pourtions knows that it can be tough sometimes to be as mindful and moderate in our eating and drinking as we'd like, but that a gentle reminder can make a difference.'

pourtions plates
Pourtions sells a range of plates designed to encourage 'portion control'

Pourtions' other products are all pretty much just as grim, with plates labelling bigger portions 'WTF' and smaller sizes 'NP', which I'm assuming is an abbreviation of 'no problem'. Ironic.

Healthy eating is, of course, important but seemingly rewarding people for eating as little as possible, while suggesting it's for the sole reason of fitting into a different style of jeans is, at best, outdated. At worst, it's something altogether more insidious and it's even more alarming that Pourtions refuses to acknowledge this.

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