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Topshop, H&M and Urban Outfitters under fire for 'femme' t-shirts

'The word femme has a history & meaning specific to LGBTQ+ ppl, it is ours to use - it isn't yours to sell to straight ppl'

Topshop, H&M and Urban Outfitters under fire for 'femme' t-shirts
H_Bevs | Twitter
One of the t-shirts that has drawn criticism

A 25-year-old lesbian shop worker, known on Twitter as HBevs, has criticized popular retailers like Topshop and H&M for selling shirts with the word ‘femme’ emblazoned across them.

The Chelmsford, UK-based H ‘Beverly’ visited Topshop, Urban Outfitters, H&M, and Mango taking pictures of the shirts before blasting the retailers online.

‘The word femme has a history & meaning specific to LGBTQ+ ppl, it is ours to use – it isn’t yours to sell to straight ppl,’ they wrote on Twitter.

According to the Daily Mail, H Beverly ‘claims it is unfair for stores to turn sexual identity into a fashion statement for profit.’

Though acknowledging that ‘femme’ is French for woman, they believe the term, when used in English, is only for the use of those in the LGBTI community.

‘They’ve just taken a word that has a specific meaning to a specific group of people and sold it to people that it has no relevance to,’ H Beverly states. ‘I don’t understand why you would want to wear a word across your chest that doesn’t have a meaning to you.’

‘’The shops have taken the identity of LGBTQ people and turned it into a fashion accessory for people who don’t understand what it is to be femme,’ they say.

‘Designers need to just research the words they put on t-shirts in the future before they print them.’

GSN has approached Topshop, H&M and Urban Outfitters for comment.


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