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August 21, 2022

Don’t Shoot! Because You’ve Nothing to Wear...

This atrocious ad by Frederick’s makes light of suicide, showing a woman tempted to shoot herself in the head because she has nothing to wear. Obviously, the intent is to be humorous, but there is nothing funny about suicide.


Not only is this ad insensitive, but it also poorly handles a self-destructive intent that does exist. Suicidal thoughts are common among many people who experience stress, anxiety, or depression. Some of these impulsive acts are caused by interpersonal problems such as breakups and bullying, and unfortunately, some teens are teased and tormented because of the clothes they wear. Yes, there is a connection between having nice clothes and suicide, but to use that correlation to sell a product is not only insensitive, it’s also done in poor taste.

Instead of helping prevent anyone from taking his or her own life, the ad stimulates suicidal ideation. Rather than telling readers to send 25 cents for a catalog of dresses, shoes, and lingerie, the ad should encourage people with suicidal thoughts to ask for help.




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