Gay social app Jack’d is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to combatting the effects of one of the most loathsome phrases to come out of the age of the gay hook-up app: “No Fats, No Fems”—with “No Asians” usually thrown in for that extra little pungent soupçon of racism.
The company recently announced that it would donating all proceeds from its #NoBulliesNoBigots tees and tanks to The Trevor Project.
The move, Jack’d marketing director Kevin Letourneau tells Kinkster, is in part a reaction to clothing line Marek + Richard’s “No Fats, No Fems” muscle tees. “Words matter. They have consequences,” Letourneau tells the site, noting that those consequences include higher rates of eating disorders, depression, and anxiety among young gay men. “That is why we were disheartened to see Marek + Richard perpetuate the toxic put-down, ‘No Fats No Fems,’ in their new line of apparel.”
Judging from the photos on the label’s website, which feature husky bearded dudes and pretty boys in glittery make-up wearing the tees, the “No Fats No Fems” line seems like it was meant to be nominally tongue-in-cheek. That’s certainly in line with Marek + Richard’s unapologetically politically incorrect, sassy circuit queen brand identity.
“We are a fun, irreverent brand that believes in the power of words,” the company’s president and founder Robbie Richard says in a statement on the site introducing a glittery pink version of the “No Fats No Fems” tee. “Self hate and shaming are very real issues within our community. We thought we’d point out some of the nonsense we saw goin’ down on the dating apps, poke holes in the phrase and highlight its ridiculousness.” The statement goes on to position the shirt as a stand against bullying and to celebrate diverse body types. Richard also says the company intends to donate a portion of the proceeds from the tank to “a deserving charity that advocates for the community.”
Of course, most of the models on the site are your standard beefcakes, the sort of muscle marys who look like they stopped by a LaChapelle shoot on their way to The White Party, which does make you question how Marek + Richard’s actual customers might deploy the shirts, whatever the brand’s intent.
All of which adds up to a head-on collision of flamboyant irony and potent LGBT issues, and Jack’d is understandably skeptical. “We appreciate the conversation this has sparked, but retroactive satire is not enough,” says Letourneau, adding that Jack’d aims to empower this generation of gay men to “stamp out exclusionary phrases from our vocabulary once and for all.”