Rep. Lauren Boebert from Colorado has aligned herself with conservative voices urging a boycott of Target due to their inclusion of “tuck-friendly” swimsuits in their seasonal collection. The swimsuits, designed to provide comfort and privacy for trans women who have not undergone gender-affirming surgery, have sparked anger among some customers.
Target, the seventh largest retailer in the United States, included these swimsuits as part of their clothing line for the 2023 Pride season. However, misinformation spread on social media falsely claimed that the swimsuits were aimed at children or available in kids’ sizes. Target clarified to the Associated Press that the Pride collection did not include tuck-friendly swimsuits for kids.
Videos and images of the one-piece swimsuits with a vibrant pink, orange, green, and blue color block pattern, along with black swim bottoms featuring colorful stitches and tags reading “Tuck-Friendly Construction” and “Extra Crotch Coverage,” circulated on social media, intensifying the controversy.
Numerous critics have called for a boycott of Target, following similar demands made against Bud Light and Nike for their sponsorship deals and promotional campaigns featuring transgender advocates and influencers. Bud Light experienced some sales decline between March and April after conservatives accused the brand of betraying its core customers by partnering with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
Congresswoman Boebert has lent her support to the boycott of Target, sharing an article on Twitter that quoted a social media user suggesting the retailer should face consequences similar to the Bud Light controversy. Boebert wrote on Twitter, “Why support woke corporations that hate you? Target won’t be getting another dollar from me.”
Boebert’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights aligns with conservative Republicans who have recently sought to restrict transgender rights and limit access to gender-affirming healthcare and gender-segregated facilities for transgender youth. During her tenure, Boebert introduced several anti-trans bills, including one aimed at preventing federal funding for research related to medical transition for minors, although the bill did not progress.
The congresswoman has consistently spoken out against LGBTQ+ inclusive events, such as Drag Queen Story Hour, which features drag performers reading books to children. After the 2022 shooting at a Colorado LGBTQ+ nightclub, some accused Boebert of contributing to a hostile environment that led to the attack, citing her past homophobic and transphobic tweets.
Boebert defended her position, stating that she has “never had bad rhetoric towards anyone and their personal preferences as an adult.” She clarified that her criticism was directed at the sexualization of children and men portraying exaggerated versions of women through drag performances.