Ugg Goes Full Pride and Faces Boycott as a Result

EQRoy /
EQRoy /

UGG Footwear, a popular bootmaker, is currently facing backlash and calls for a boycott due to its recent collaboration with transgender activist Alok Vaid-Menon for a Pride collection and campaign.

The collaboration, which was reported by Newsweek, features Vaid-Menon, who prefers the pronouns “They/Them,” in the launch of UGG’s URSeen line of merchandise this June. The URSeen Collection includes colorful platform slip-on shoes and terrycloth dresses, as well as children’s footwear, all presented in a unisex style on the company’s website.

Alok Vaid-Menon shared their personal journey on the UGG website, stating, “So much of my childhood was about hiding myself, having to cover up, disappear, to not draw attention to myself. My goal with this was really to create a garment that actually celebrated queer bodies.”

However, the partnership has sparked controversy, with critics accusing UGG of promoting a transgender and gay agenda, particularly because the products are available in children’s sizes. The conservative platform Libs of TikTok highlighted the collaboration, criticizing Vaid-Menon’s past controversial statements.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Libs of TikTok posted, “UGG @UGG just partnered with Alok Menon for a pride month collection and campaign. Alok is a radical trans activist who said ‘little girls are k*nky’ and suggests it’s their fault if a male uses the bathroom with them.”

The contentious quote was originally from a 2016 post on the Facebook page DarkMatter, which Vaid-Menon used to promote transgender-themed poetry with partner Janani Balasubramanian. Vaid-Menon has clarified that the quote was written by Balasubramanian, not them, and was part of a broader discussion on societal views towards transgenderism and homosexuality.

The full quote reads: “We totally need to challenge the white Christian supremacist, right-wing rhetoric around trans bodies, absolutely. But we also need to seriously overhaul the idea that there is a perfect victim anywhere. I believe in the radical notion that little girls, like the rest of us, are complicated people. There are no fairy tales and no princesses here. Little girls are also queer, trans, kinky, deviant, kind, mean, beautiful, ugly, tremendous, and peculiar. Your kids aren’t as straight and narrow as you think they are. Like everybody else. I’ve been a cute little girl. And a gender nonconforming young adult. Let me tell you, everywhere along that spectrum, I’ve been complicated and strange.”

In 2021, Vaid-Menon addressed the misattribution of the quote, stating, “These forces have misattributed a 2016 Facebook status about girlhood to me that I did not write. These words, ideas, and life experience are not mine. This status—an analysis of a film I haven’t seen—was written by a former colleague who was born female. The author states this in the text (‘I have been a cute little girl’). This has been glossed over and erased in order to demonize and discredit me.”