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Proof That Negative Body Messaging Is Everywhere, In One Photo

04/03/2015 03:52 pm ET

A photo of baby onesies has reignited conversation about the harmful messages in gendered marketing for kids' products. On Thursday afternoon, Jason Y. Evans, a manager of media services at NYU, posted this photo of two onesies for sale at an NYU bookstore.

I had a very difficult time not raging out about this in the college store. These are onesies...for infants...guess which one is for girls and which one is for boys. THIS is the problem.

The product on the left is Wry Baby's "I Hate My Thighs" onesie that sparked controversy last month. On the right is the brand's superhero-themed onesie that reads "I'm Super."

While the photo doesn't indicate if the products are meant for specific genders (and Wry Baby's website does not divide its snapsuit products by sex), Evans' photo caption -- "guess which one is for girls and which one is for boys" -- suggests that the store may have marketed the onesies in that way.

Beyond the issue of marketing that plays into gender stereotypes, the body-shaming message "I Hate My Thighs" has certainly raised a few eyebrows. Michele Kort wrote on the Ms. magazine blog on March 10, "Yes, we know -- it’s meant to be funny. After all, the company that sells this onesie with the saying 'I Hate My Thighs' is named Wry Baby. And we feminists do have a sense of humor. But really, there’s something icky about projecting fat awareness on babies."

A March 17 poll on Today.com showed that readers are split -- 51 percent of 2600+ people polled think the "I Hate My Thighs" onesie is "offensive," while the other 49 percent find it "cute."

In response to all the criticism, Wry Baby removed the "I Hate My Thighs" onesie from its website, and wrote to Ms. magazine, "We couldn’t agree more about body image. That’s why we made an ironic joke about it. Obviously no baby would or should hate their thighs!"

As this viral recent photo indicates, however, it remained on sale in retail stores. Evans reports in an update on Facebook that the NYU Bookstore removed the product after a rash of phone complaints yesterday.

"It's also refreshing to see that I'm not the only one outraged by this kind of thing. #thereishope #whyineedfeminism," he wrote. Yep.

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