Who owns FIGS? Scrubs retailer apologizes for 'sexist' campaign after outrage over 'internalized misogyny'

The video shows a woman in neon pink scrubs with an ID that says 'DO' reading a book titled ‘Medical Terminology for Dummies’ while the camera zooms in on her waist

                            Who owns FIGS? Scrubs retailer apologizes for 'sexist' campaign after outrage over 'internalized misogyny'

The medical apparel company FIGS was caught in a controversy regarding a video advertisement they recently released on their website. On October 13, the company apologized for the video that targeted doctors of osteopathic medicine.

The company tweeted, "A lot of you guys have pointed out an insensitive video we had on our site — we are incredibly sorry for any hurt this has caused you, especially our female DOs (who are amazing!) FIGS is a female founded company whose only mission is to make you guys feel awesome." They added, "We dropped the ball and and we are so sorry. We love you guys and we’ll always listen to what you have to say!"


The video has been taken down from the website. NBC News reported that the video featured a woman in neon pink scrubs reading a book titled ‘Medical Terminology for Dummies’ while holding it upside down. The camera then zooms in on the woman as she adjusts the waist of her pants. A work identification card with the letters ‘DO’ is visible.

The report states that doctors of osteopathic medicine or DOs are fully licensed physicians, according to American Osteopathic Association. DOs are different from traditional medical doctors as they are trained to take a holistic approach to patient care. The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine said on Twitter, "We are outraged women physicians & doctors of osteopathic medicine are still attacked in ignorant marketing campaigns. A company like @wearfigs should be ashamed for promoting these stereotypes. We demand the respect we’ve earned AND a public apology."


There were others who were offended by the advertisement and expressed their opinions on Twitter. A user said, "As a current DO student and future physician, the disrespect for female physicians and DOs exhibited in this ad (attached since it was removed from your website) is unforgivable. I will not be supporting FIGS, and encourage all those who purchase scrubs to join me."

Another said, "It wasn’t just insensitive - it was inaccurate. Being women owned is great, but internalized misogyny is rampant in your marketing. The dancing, close up of the model’s pelvis & cute but 'not so smart' persona is insulting. It’s not making me feel 'awesome'.” One tweeted, “As women physicians in 2020, we still struggle to be taken seriously compared to our male counterparts, as we battle stereotypes like THIS EXACT ONE. We expect the brands we support to reflect the badasses we are. @wearfigs - women physicians are disappointed in you. Do better.”

One commented, "Dear FIGS, please explain this sexist insulting campaign add where you portray DO physicians in such a horrible light?? That they are 'dummies'??? Women physicians everyone are outraged, and many are boycotting. Just removing the ad is not enough. Dr Sarah Muenk, MD." Another stated, "Figs trying to get out of the sexist, misogynistic, DO-shaming closet they trapped themselves into yesterday."






Who owns FIGS?

The company was founded in 2013 by Heather Hasson and Trina Spear who both serve as co-CEOs. The idea was conceived after Hasson helped a friend find more flattering work clothes. Spear user to work at Wall Street at the time and helped Hasson cultivate the business idea. The duo started by selling scrubs out of hospital parking lots. According to Entrepreneur, they targeted the time slots such as 7 am and 7 pm when doctors and nurses changed shifts. "It was really early stages, but we were swiping credit cards on the side of a road outside of an emergency room," Spear said. "That was really what gave me the confidence to leave Blackstone, to leave Wall Street, and take a rest."

FIGS sells scrubs and other medical apparel and accessories for medical professionals, including physician assistants, doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners. They sell tailored scrubs with fabric that is wrinkle-resistant and antimicrobial.

According to the 2019 Entrepreneur article, since its inception, the company has grown considerably. As per the story, they got the fourth-largest funding round for a female-founded company in 2017. According to a FIGS representative, as reported by Entrepreneur, the company brought in $100M in revenue in 2018. As per bizjournal.com, the duo won the Emerging Award at EY's 2018 Greater LA Regional Entrepreneur of the Year awards. 
These remarks were made by the internet and individual organizations, MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) cannot confirm them independently and nor does it support these claims being made on the Internet.

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