Can a specific design of wallpaper be considered sexist? As a question, it’s not really in the same category as the existential dilemmas which plagued intellectual heavyweights such as Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Kafka, and Sartre.
Yet, for UK food writer Helen Greaves, it’s an issue worthy of weighty decision and considered debate.
So much so that, when Greaves became aware of the unusual wallpaper that adorned the walls of the ladies’ toilets in the Almost Famous restaurant in Leeds, she felt the need to bring the offending article to the public’s attention through her blog.
The wallpaper in question is of an unusual design in that it consists a list of controversial questions and statements detailing any potential insecurities a woman might have, such as, “Why can’t I be thinner?” “Does my tan look streaky?” “I need a nose job.” “Why am I so pale?” and the immortal “I wish I had boobs like Katy Perry.”
Posting a picture of the wallpaper with the headline, “Fries with your misogyny madam?”, Greaves shared her feelings on the matter.
“Your eyes do not deceive you. It’s a list of women’s potential insecurities, written on a toilet wall. What could motivate someone to do this?”
A sense of humor perhaps? But no, having a little giggle at the expense of someone’s overwhelming vanity and shallow self-obsession doesn’t wash with this righteous food critic.
“What about the people who are affected and as a result feel awful about themselves and whichever part of their body Almost Famous has reminded them they’re not satisfied with?” she asked with all the indignation of a multi-millionaire rock star tackling global poverty.
According to Yahoo! News, the up-and-coming burger diner has now been forced to remove the design.
Responding to Greaves remarks, Almost Famous tweeted, “So, about our female toilets…” with an image of a staff member painting over the wall.
The restaurant also released a statement on its website.
“The designs in our female toilets have caused upset and we are sorry.Almost Famous is a young company, we take risks, but we got this one wrong. We want to stress our intentions weren’t to offend. The designs were created by a female employee to voice her own and other women’s insecurities. We accept we didn’t communicate this properly. The designs are currently being removed from all of our restaurants.”
Like vultures picking over a corpse, posters on Helen Greaves’ blog expressed their delight at the removal of the design as they doubtless admired the finest of views from the moral high ground.