Pride Parade float catches flak for liposuction message - KMSP-TV

Pride Parade float catches flak for liposuction message

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

More than one million people attended the Chicago Pride Parade this past weekend, and many went home wondering about a float they saw.

Fat-shaming is how one man described it. The local author who talks about overcoming eating disorders and often shares his personal journey about being gay talked with FOX 32 News about the controversial float.

"One of the biggest conversations I hear at parties is about our bodies and how we want to lose weight, and we kind of celebrate disordered eating. We make up 42% of all men with eating disorders," said Zach Stafford.

Stafford said that it's a Pride Parade he will remember for the wrong reason.

"It was not shocking to see the float there but it was definitely disheartening especially since this year were so focused on celebrating all types of people," said Stafford in an interview with FOX 32's Tisha Lewis.

Stafford was at Sunday's Pride Parade where a controversial float created by Chicago Liposuction -- which offers cellulite removal, tummy tucks and liposuction -- featured what some are calling inappropriate posters.

"The 'no man boobs' thing. That is problematic on all levels, one, there is obviously a fat-shaming component to it," said Stafford.

Stafford is an author and public speaker who makes no qualms about overcoming eating disorders and often shares his personal journey about being gay.

Jeanne Shockey, Director of Operations at Chicago Liposuction, said that she was surprised by the backlash.

"We wanted to have something that was fun and basically we're a lipo company and we suck fat and we thought that would be really fun to say," said Shockey.

Shockey helped make the posters with her co-workers and their children.

"Having them on this float I thought was really good for them to get to see people out there on the streets and get to see what's real," Shockey added.

Shockey said that she regrets the offensive message and apologized to Chicago Pride Parade organizer Richard Pfeiffer.

"She said to me that when they sat down to do the signage it was a combination of all their staff including their LGBT employees and they wanted to make it a fun type thing but it wasn't really fun," said Pfeiffer.

FOX 32's Tisha Lewis reports Chicago Pride Parade organizers said this is the first incident in more than four decades. Traditionally, they do not sensor signs or posters on floats.

Pfeiffer also said that he's still reviewing what happened at the parade Sunday, as well as reviewing the policy.

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