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Office shoe company reminds women to shave their legs, sparks debate

The Office shoe brand has unintentionally sparked a debate about beauty standards.

'I do not want to support sexist companies': Woman slams Office after receiving promotional email

A U.K. shoe company has come under fire for an email reminding customers to shave their legs. (Robert Przybysz/Shutterstock)

Imagine opening your inbox and seeing this message: "Show a little leg. Just don't forget to shave them."

Surprisingly, it's not a neg from that creepy friend of a friend who lists "pickup artist" as his job on Facebook.

No, this friendly reminder about your personal grooming is an attempt to sell you shoes.

British high-street company Office sent what its social media team must have thought was a playful missive promoting its line of summer sandals recently, and unintentionally sparked a debate about beauty standards.

A 24-year-old U.K. woman named Katy posted to forum Mumsnet after receiving the promotional email.

"I shave my legs because I know people I encounter day-to-day will be horrified by body hair on a woman, but I don't need a business trying to make me feel bad if I choose to go outside without doing so," she wrote. "Or trying to make me feel disgusted by something so natural."

Katy told the Daily Mail that she posted about the email online because she wants others "to know what [Office emails] women so they can make the decision for themselves if they want to shop there. I know I do not want to support sexist companies."

Opinion online is divided about whether the message is offensive. Some feel those who are outraged are raising too much of a fuss.

"I think it was probably a bit of a joke about the warm weather we're having rather than a dictatorial announcement," one Mumsnet user responded.

Another wrote, "I never remember to shave mine so [I] would appreciate the reminder! But seriously there are better things to get annoyed about than an email from Office surely?"

Others shared Katy's discomfort.

"It's just a repellent message to send out," one woman responded.

Another wrote, "I know it's supposed to be lighthearted, but in reality [it] is quite sexist/body shaming. A lot of women shave because they feel obligated to. Comments like this just reinforce it."

It seems Office won't be changing its overly familiar email tone anytime soon.

One woman took to Twitter after the faceless corporate entity called her by a pet name.

About the Author

Jillian Bell

Senior Writer

Jillian writes for CBCNews.ca. Her work has previously appeared in The Globe and Mail, Metro and Chatelaine.

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