This month, a plastic surgeon may have learned to think twice about how he advertises his services after his billboard was vandalized in Jackson, Michigan.Earlier this summer, a billboard sign went up for Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery. The billboard showed two muffins wearing jeans and read, “Friends don’t let friends muffin top” — muffin top is a phrase describing when a person’s belly overhangs their pants waistband.As it happened, though, many people in the local area took offense to the sign, which they saw as being critical of women’s bodies and relying on shame to promote plastic surgery. As a result, someone spray-painted smiley faces onto the muffins, added a giant “X” over the slogan, and wrote “You’re beautiful!” at the top.
Dr. Pramit Malhorta, the clinic’s director, reported being surprised that anyone was offended with his sign.
“Some people felt that it was an attack on people who are overweight, and that certainly wasn’t the intention,” he said in an interview with TODAY. “It was meant to be lighthearted and (directed at) people who are looking to make positive self-image changes.” Malhorta says he does not plan to replace the sign.
It’s the second time Anne Arbor Plastic Surgery has been accused of promoting an insensitive billboard — this past winter, the company had to apologize for a sign that says “Size Matters” and featured a small and large coffee cup labeled “B” and “D” (implying that larger breasts are bigger).
Did critics accept the doctor’s excuse? Not hardly. Ann Arbor Plastic Surgery will hopefully think twice before posting another potentially offensive ad, or they might wind up with negative publicity and another spray-painted sign.”I will see the lighter side when you stop making signs that destroy the confidence of our community,” said one commentator on the clinic’s Facebook page. The Jackson City Police Department investigated, but could not uncover who was behind the act of vandalism.