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Do Topshop’s Temporary Scar Tattoos Glorify Self-Harm?

Image: Topshop

Topshop Confetti Freckle Tattoos; Image: Topshop

On October 8, Topshop released a line of gold temporary tattoos in the form of body scars and imperfections in order promote empowerment and self-love. The Brtish fashion retailer teamed up with jewelry design student Lucie Davis for this project and stated that “each tattoo is designed to celebrate our imperfections rather than hiding them, from a spattering of gold freckles to statement scar designs.”

Topshop imperfection tattoos

Topshop Scar Tattoos; Image: Topshop

In addition to gold scar tattoos, the collection also consists of mixed metal confetti freckles, gold freckles and gold dots (to mimic skin moles). And each design comes with a message on the packaging like “flaws worth fighting for,” “flawsome freckles embrace your traits” and “celebrating difference.” While the majority of the faux tattoos seem to be sold out, customers are taking these tattoos very seriously. 

One reviewer wrote on the site, “I can’t believe top shop are glorifying selfharm scars, whilst not advertised as selfharm scars the scars are placed on the arm in a row which is the stereotypical idea of self harm, absolutely disgusted.”

“Living in the age of Photoshop and airbrushing tools, skin is always under pressure to be ‘perfect,'” Topshop said in a statement promoting the range. Nadia Mendoza of The Self-Esteem Team, who battled self-harm, tells the Daily Mail, “With 1 in 4 suffering a mental health problem, there is no doubt we need to be addressing the issue, but not via transfer stickers. I feel we’re only one step away from a self-harm emoji.”

Topshop imperfection tattoos

Image: Topshop

A petition to remove the tattoos from Topshop on change.org states, “Topshop should not be normalising self harm or presenting it as a fashion trend. Not only is the glamorisation of self injury dangerous for the mainly teenage demographic but harmful for others who have struggled with self harm and see what for them, is a painful reminder being presented as acceptable—as long as its temporary and elegant.”

A spokesperson for Topshop later relayed to the Daily Mail that the brand “apologises for any distress or offence these products have caused. The products in question are part of the ‘Freedom’ range, which is a concession range sold in Topshop stores by a third party concessionaire.” The statement then goes on to say that “customer feedback is taken very seriously and, as such, we have instructed the concessionaire in question to remove this particular collection of Freedom products from Topshop stores and Topshop.com immediately.”

While the imperfection tattoo line does still exist online at Topshop, all items have been marked as sold out. Perhaps Topshop is listening to it’s customers after all. 

[via Daily Mail]