Boycott Ralph

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Boycott Ralph

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cc: The Executives of the Ralph Lauren Company

Ralph Lauren – CEO
Scott Myers – Marketing Director

Michael Morelli – VP of Advertising
David Lauren – SVP of Advertising
Laura Johnson- Public Relations Manager
Trecia Laird- Senior Marketing Manager

Hello Mr. Lauren,

Let me preface this entire letter by saying that I’m truly sorry that we have to meet under these terms and conditions. I would rather have met you at the Four Seasons Hotel and had a juice and pretzels with you, because I’m sure you’re a really interesting guy. And I assure you, I’m a really nice guy as well.

Fortunately for me, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting tens of thousands of young girls while promoting my documentary “America the Beautiful.” To look in the eyes of over 100,000 college women and hear their pain (body image, self-esteem) has been an experience that I will never forget. I’ve also heard from over 80,000 parents that are in pain because they have to hear from their sons and daughters in pain. It does truly become a generational cycle.

I’m sure that you’re fully aware that a lot of the American population feels that the unhealthy ads in magazines are damaging to women. The damage comes in various forms; body image problems, low self-esteem and for some of the women, they get a full blown eating disorder like your niece Jenny.

I had a professional in the eating disorders world tell me last night that images like yours don’t cause eating disorders in every girl that sees it – What happens is girls that end up with an eating disorder had a 50-80% predisposition for getting an eating disorder in the first place and the negative magazine fashion ads and other factors are the gun that pulls the trigger. For the millions of other girls that don’t get an eating disorder, they’re left feeling fat, ugly and worthless.

Ralph, there is no turning back for me. When I met these women traveling from city to city and country to country, I looked them in the eye and promised them that I would do whatever I could to make the world a better place for them.

In my last letter to you, I mentioned that I would never buy anything with the RL (Ralph Lauren) label on it. Well, over 100,000 people emailed me and said they were joining me. They said they wouldn’t buy anything with the RL label on it as well until you promised to stop the very harmful kind of marketing and advertising for which you’ve been accused. Some of their emails are below.

In case you’re wondering “what harmful marketing and advertising?” – I have exhibits A, B and C of your advertising below.

Most of the emails that I’ve received are from adults. They’re fed up with it Ralph. 

Believe it or not, they get hurt as much as the young girls that read the magazines and look at the ads. “How? You wonder.”  When a young girl reads these ridiculous fashion magazines and gets triggered into a full blown eating disorder, who do you think gets left holding the bag for the $30,000 a month treatment?  I’ve met parents that have had their entire savings wiped out and some have taken out second mortgages on their homes to pay for the treatment of their young daughters. Trust me Mr. Lauren, they’re sick of it.

To be clear, this isn’t just an issue of eating disorders. In my film, “America the Beautiful,” I interviewed a 7 year old girl and a 12 year old girl, both of whom insisted that they were ugly. They couldn’t tell me specifically why they were ugly. They could only reference celebrities and ads of models as references of how they’re supposed to look. And you know what was funny about the whole thing, neither one of them were ugly. They were quite attractive girls actually. Their self-esteems have been assaulted by —- I’m sure you get the picture by now.

Mr. Lauren, women live in a very toxic culture. Men as well now that I think about it.

For the record, I’m letting you know that exactly 112,489 of us will no longer buy anything that you’re associated with until you give us a committment that you will no longer use droconian advertising like the ads below. We don’t want any money from you, nor do we want any free clothes. We just want young girls that read fashion magazines to be safe.

Also for the record, ANAD, the largest eating disorders awareness organization in the US is supporting me with my boycott. You can read about them at

I’ll be in Washington, DC tomorrow meeting with the CEO of the YWCA to get them to support me with my boycott as well.

There are YWCA locations in 122 countries around the world, 300 locations in the US working in 9 regions – 25 million women strong. You can read about them at

I’m going to talk to the press, arrange demonstrations, basically anything I can do to help women that suffer from these ludicrous ads. 

I plan on having  over 1 million people that agree with my position to not purchase any RL products as well until you agree to advertise to women in a way that respects and values them.

For clarity sake, this boycott isn’t just about your company. It’s about the entire fashion / beauty industry that advertises in a way that’s harmful for women. We’re hoping they will see that people are fed up and change their advertising practices as well. We picked you because you went waaaaay over the top with the 3 ads below.

If and when you send a formal announcement agreeing to stop with your draconian advertising, the boycott will be over and I’m sure some parents will forgive you and start buying your bedding products again.

Remember we’re doing this for the safety of young girls Mr. Lauren, including your niece Jenny.

So, what’s it going to be Ralph? It’s your conscience. Your decision.  We await your answer. Until then, I’m off to do my Christmas shopping with your competitors.

Respectfully yours,

Darryl Roberts

AWESOME!!!! Can I sign or should I copy and send to?

Let me know!


Thank you for sending me this letter to Ralph Lauren.  I know what I can do which is boycott his products from bedding to clothes to fragrance.  It sickens me that I have 2 sets of Ralph Lauren bedding in my home right now.  

For the sake of my daughter a recovering from anorexia/bulimia I will never purchase anything by RL again and will tell my friends so.  We can make a difference by getting the word out there.  I will forward this to women I know.  I have
given your DVD to a friend of mine who is a highschool counselor.  She is anxious to watch it and I am sure will do something positive with this information.

Thank you again for your tireless work in this arena, trying to save our children.



Great letter. Great public stance on what is a horrible ad campaign and a horrible message to send to young women. You will eventually affect change by taking these kinds of stands. Nice work.

Thank you Darryl! Writing these types of letters is very empowering and I encourage the women in my support group to do this. I know I do!

I will NOT buy any Ralph Lauren products and I will encourage others to bypass his products. I will also forward this to all of the women in my group and I’m sure that they, too, will boycott.

We have already begun boycotting Panera Bread because they are posting calories and fat counts on their overhead menus. Several of us wrote letters to them. Their response didn’t matter as much as the empowerment of the exercise of making ourselves heard.

Have you considered taking this Ralph Lauren BS to ANAD? They can really get on a roll and call national attention to ludicrous and sick things like this. I’m an Indiana volunteer with them and they’re really awesome about this.

Keep speaking Darryl! Thanks for all you do!

Great Letter Darryl!  I, too, have walked past everything Ralph Lauren (and I was a big fan of their stuff before) and I am telling everyone else to do the same.  And I know my friends and family will because they have seen what a horror my family has been going thru as we try to help my daughter get thru her eating disorders (yes, she has had both, God help us, anorexia and bulimia).

Thank you for your good work and God Bless.

mount laurel, nj
Until you do, I won’t buy anything with the RL logo on it. You can take that to the bank.

I’m with you on that!

Hi Darryl

Well said! I applaud all of your efforts and hope that Ralph Lauren does something positive with this letter.  It has to start somewhere in their industry. Maybe he could be the leader in helping promote a healthy ideal for fashion.  That would be powerful.  Thanks for sharing.

University of Alabama
Staff Psychologist
Mr. Roberts,

I attended the showing of your documentary in Downers Grove at the fundraiser for the Arabella House. I was in tears as I watched and thought about the women (and some men) that suffer from eating disorders and low self esteem. The energy and dedication that you have brought to this cause is incredible. Your work lets girls know that someone really does care and is willing to stand up for them.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me and my comtemporaries.


Thank you,

I am so glad that SOMEONE uses their voice. I want to use mine!

You Go Darryl,

Thanks for all the great work you are doing to help empower girls and women.

What a beautiful courageous letter!  I wish there was some way for me to sign it, too!  I want him to know that I have told everyone I know about his ads and to stop wearing anything he makes.  I would sign a petition to boycott in a second!  I bought your DVD the day it was available and spent my Thanksgiving holiday making all of my family watch it: my 3 sisters, my daughter, my mom, etc.  I also plan on showing it to all of my friends.  This is important work at the perfect time.

Thank you!

Franklin, TN
Darrel, you are the absolute best ever!!!!! You go guy. xxxooo
Whooooaaaaa!!! POWERFUL! You go Darryl!!! Behind you 100%!!
I hope he gets it, that miserable asshole..
Darryl- I watched your movie (FINALLY) with my 15 year old daughter and the rest of our mother-daughter group on Saturday night. Since then there’ve been emails exchanged showing how it affected the girls. How they went holiday shopping and saw what was being sold and how girls presented themselves in a different light.

This morning I got your Ralph Lauren email and forwarded to the moms in the group and asked that they send it to their daughters. One mom wrote back to ask if there’s an online campaign of email letter writing to Ralph Lauren the girls could write to.

Is there?

Thanks for all you’re doing,
Very powerful letter Darryl!!!  Thank you for being who you are…
wow. you’re so amazing. ;-)

Something is definitely amiss over there. He’s possible relinquished too much responsibility to someone who doesn’t really grasp the dangers.





19 Comment(s)

  1. Thank you for taking a stand, using your voice, getting into the dirt and initiating change. I do hope this as well as the action of those who support you make a dent in the industry I have grown up using my voice in over the last 20 years. This stance can not however be a solo project, it takes concerned individuals like yourself and Eve Ensler and other incredible advocates, doctors, researchers, concerned mothers, fathers, and organizations like the YWCA to power back a punch where it will hurt the most, in the bank account.
    Wake Up America, our children need us.
    Lets not waste our most precious natural resource, the minds (and bodies) of our future on others capitalistic gains.
    The more the truth gets out there (check out as well as the other wonderful body image, self esteem and eating disorder sites listed on, soak up the information about what is going on in your home, with yourself, with your children, then take action.
    It never is too late.
    The time is now to take a stand and bring advertising of products around to reflect a more realistic version of what beauty is in our country…the land of the free and the brave in all of our diversity and texture.
    Very truly yours and with deep gratitude of your work,

    emme | Dec 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. These “advertising” images are disturbing beyond words.
    Has anyone ever answered as to why they did this?

    I am 42 and have postponed my dreams because I always thought I was too fat and imperfect for the public eye, (I am a size 8-10) until I started to actually meet real models, actresses, and “celebrities”, and saw that they were just like me in person.

    Twenty years of my life wasted trying to be as perfect as the magazines.

    Gianna | Dec 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Those images are appalling, yet I saw that one of the model in the grey almost every day while passing on the bus and thought nothing of it – that is how insidious this kind of advertising and media trickery has become.

    That’s why I started, as an antidote of sorts to the belief prevalent in the fashion industry that beauty only exists through extreme manipulation of photos. There’s ONLY women over a size 10 on this site, and a wealth of videos and other bits and pieces in a neutral environment that makes it safe for everyone to visit. Have a look!

    PippaJ | Dec 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. Those images are photoshopped by you. The real models are nowhere near as slim as those photos protray they are. Stop promoting falsities. I am not boycotting RL.

    Jeremy | Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

  5. I made a facebook page to boycott Ralph Lauren before one even existed. I was outraged when I heard what he had been doing to his models and their photos. I am personally suffering with an eating disorder and these actions are part of the reason that I have body image issues. Thank you for finally showing that this is a HORRIBLE problem and one that needs to be fixed? I wish America would take a walk in the shoes of some one with an eating disorder like me and realize how much of a hell it is. My dream was to be able to help America realize that this is a serious problem. I was hoping my facebook group would grow and everyone would see it. Thank you again for helping bring this issue to the surface.

    Jessica Neiser | Dec 9, 2009 | Reply

  6. I can see what you are getting at however with 70% of the US population obese or worse this is an unfair measure of beauty.. I would surely bet a full 100% of the responders here are unfit, obese and entirely unattractive..there is no need to fill the media with the truth about the ugliness of the American population..

    Keep the pretty, thin women as advertisers. Give the marginal pigs something to shoot for.

    The rest of the fat ugly old hags can shop at walmart..get a moo-moo, some spray cheese and a toothless redneck feller that is so drunk he won’t care if he misses the wet spot..

    Lastly, don’t tell me that these random responders give a crap about the eating disorder of some cute 19 year old girl. They are just jealous that they got hit with the fat gene..Be honest with yourself porkers.. you get passed up by quality men because you are over fed, self centered and have a feeling of entitlement..

    that is all..

    chauss513 | Dec 11, 2009 | Reply

  7. I agree that something has to be done. I work as a licensed practitioner in healthcare and the anorexia/bulemia and other eating disorders can really be very difficult to treat.

    By the way, this group also needs to go after the Victoria Secret brand. The recent “fashion show” on TV did not have even one model who was less than 6 feet tall and at least 25# underweight. When one struts around in lingerie or something that smack of lingerie, a lot can be seen! These women do little to promote healthy eating, a healthy lifestyle and contribute to the epidemic of eating disorders and self-loathing so many young women develop these day. And to push these images on TV and our homes is disrespectful.

    Rockerbabe | Dec 11, 2009 | Reply

  8. Wow, are those models for real, did they have rib bones taken out surgically, or were they airbrushed? They’re definitely more disturbing than approaching the notion of ‘beauty’…more freaks of the unnatural…

    Yao She-ma | Dec 12, 2009 | Reply

  9. I’m so glad someone is making waves in the fashion world on behalf of the well being of all men and women! Both sexes are being mentally brainwashed by these unrealistic, superficial, and degrading advertisements. I think it is easy for big companies to forget we are all apart of a collective community that should be structured in ways that are healthy and accepting of everyone. As a 25 year old woman, I have had my own struggles with an eating disorder and feelings of low self-esteem and ugliness. I feel growing up with the kind of advertisements Ralph Lauren is producing definitely aided in my distorted self-image, and negative feelings towards my body. The society we have created for one another does not value individuality or mental well-being. It is about time everyone re-evaluates the way we view and represent gender in American culture, because their are too many men and women who are suffering under the standards we have created today.

    Kirsten Seidel | Dec 13, 2009 | Reply

  10. It’s about time for humanity to take responsibility for current social and cultural wellbeing. Foremost it’s about time to acknowledge media’s role in shaping of individual psyche and development of emotional and spiritual instability within individual and society as a whole. Today I thank you for using your influence in a thoughtful and consciousness manner.

    mirjana dorozan | Dec 17, 2009 | Reply

  11. URRGH,

    I Love, Love, Love, love Ralph Lauren. If I ever had to chose one designer to wear the rest of my life, it would be him. That is why this pains me so…but I need to take a stand, that I will not, cannot, and further allow this falsehood of perfection to continue. I am not going to buy or wear any more of my RL clothes or accessories until a change has been made. Ralph Lauren has been the pioneer in truly conceptulizing the “American Dream” thru his innovative ADS. Those ADs had me longing, wishing, desiring and craving that lifestyle. I’m hoping he will be the pioneer in changing those ADS from the skinny waiflike to the REAL size woman that needs to berepresented for all of us. He has had such a great team in being able to sell to the masses without compromising the classic signature. Maybe now, they can come up with a NEW, REAL and INSPIRING Ad that shows that we all are beautiful. Hello! Does anyone remember Benetton? Use to love their ADs. So RL, I encourage you to do the same..

    Lana Leazer | Dec 18, 2009 | Reply

  12. thank you for this! I too will be making EVERY effort to portray a more realistic interpretation of beauty- by SELECTING models that better represent the full spectrum of both body types and nationality, race etc. Personally, though I do use PhotoShop it has NEVER been to change the shape of a mode;ls body. I confess that I have removed the odd zit. I truly appreciate the focus you are placing on this very important subject and will soon also be placing your link on my site. Do you have a FB group? Oops- i take that back. Just saw it- and shall join!

    David Rosen | Dec 19, 2009 | Reply

  13. Um, no, Jeremy. Those models are photoshopped by the company.

    I am boycotting Ralph Lauren. Thank you for caring, Darryl.

    M | Dec 21, 2009 | Reply

  14. I am not sure if this is the only company nor the only reason for men and women to suffer from anorexia. let’s go back to TWIGY or cate moss from calvine kline. it’s allways been the skinny thing. It shows vulnerability and it’s shows weakness which men find sexy. for example, the heroin look… remember?
    However, All this campaign of Ralph Lauren or any other designer that uses women’s stupidity is actually killing people.
    not only that it does not help people in anyways, it actually lies to people, FOR MONEY! and killing them.
    I call this A CRIME!
    150000 people die every year from anorexia.
    I chaned my mind! I call this CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!

    atleast they made a few bucks… right?

    Gidon Ricardo | Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

  15. reply to chauss513

    1st. you’re an idiot.

    2nd, being fat (not obese) it NOT worse then STARVING YOUR SELF TO DEATH… only because you THINK you are fat.
    These people are so skinny and powerless, and they THINK they are fat.
    Porker VS antena? the antena goes down.

    I agree, when you say porker I assume you mean 400lb sweaty and can’t stop eatting…
    but how about 130lb for women and 190lb for men? not to bad… isn’t it?

    One thing for sure, You have NOT seen a person that suffers from anorexia.

    Gidon Ricardo | Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

  16. It’s about time! Thank you for taking a stand. Please remember that ALL the clothing manufacturers use the same kind of promotions and the same models. The entire industry is at fault here. At least Ralph Lauren MAKES clothing for plus-sized, voluptuous women. Some designers like Donna Karen and Vera Wang haven’t even attempted to address this market! And then there is Calvin Klein who said in an interview that he would never hire someone to work in his company that was larger than a size 8. I have boycotted him since!

    Lisa | Jan 6, 2010 | Reply

  17. It is so gratifying any time positive directions are taken to help eradicate this disease. I lost my daughter to an eating disorder, and for that reason started the MCRFoundation for the prevention of eating disorders.
    We appear to be the media and fashion industries’ puppets, but occasionally people get sick and tired being railroaded into thinking they should be ashamed of their bodies. Collectively we all can make a difference and a change.
    Shame on Ralph Lauren and all others like him. Ralph has a niece who wrote a book about her struggles. I guess money trumps family with the Laurens
    Thank you Darryl.

    jan robinson | Jan 11, 2010 | Reply

  18. Thank you so much for doing this. When I saw those photoshopped photos, I wanted to boycott on a larger level but didn’t know how. Know that there are many people that support what you are doing and let’s keep up the good work!

    sally sue | Jan 26, 2010 | Reply

  19. Those images appeared in magazines and on websites. RL took already skinny models and photoshopped them into bobble heads. That’s what we are boycotting.

    sally sue | Jan 26, 2010 | Reply

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