Shoppers have branded the makers of Miffy ‘sick’ and ‘awful’ after they used the cute children’s character on clothes – to ‘promote dieting’.
The floppy-eared bunny appears on t-shirts and jumpers alongside a cake and the slogan: ‘Diet starts tomorrow.’
The brightly-coloured clothes are sold in the UK by Amazon and t-shirt website Truffle Shuffle in sizes including small and extra small.
Disgusted critics have accused the makers of Miffy ‘promoting diet culture’ with the innocent character, which was created by Dutch artist Dick Bruna in 1955.
The floppy-eared bunny appears on t-shirts and jumpers alongside a cake and the slogan: ‘Diet starts tomorrow’
People took to Twitter to voice their concern and some said the decision to feature dieting was ‘gross’ and ‘sick’
In the original books, which are aimed at children as young as three, the female rabbit ranges in age from being a baby to just four years old.
The backlash comes after a photo of a blue jumper featuring the design was tweeted from the Miffy UK Twitter account.
Sophie Jackson raged: ‘A children’s character should not be associated with dieting, considering how susceptible young people are to negative body image.’
‘JoJo’ added: ‘I don’t get it. Miffy’s a child and definitely shouldn’t be thinking about dieting.’
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘How to ruin your brand image in one tweet,’ while Lucy Paine simply said: ‘This is wrong.’
Shops selling the merchandise state it is for women but critics say the character – which is a child and for children – shouldn’t be associated with dieting at all.
The brand’s social media channels describe Miffy as a ‘classic children’s character’ which ‘appeals to children all over the world, instilling a sense of safety’.
‘She is uncomplicated and innocent, has a positive attitude and is always open to new experiences,’ the official website adds.
Plus-size fashion industry expert Bethany Rutter, a social content executive who describes herself as a ‘fatshion’ blogger, described it as ‘shocking’.
Miffy (pictured) is a small female rabbit in a series of picture books drawn and written by Dutch artist Dick Bruna
The blue jumper (left) is on sale for £29.99 and can be bought in six sizes, from XS to XXL
She said: ‘The fact that a children’s-oriented brand like Miffy would think a product like this is responsible marketing is really shocking.
‘It shows how deep diet culture has managed to get its claws into how we market products to all ages.
‘We say the fashion industry needs to take responsibility for young women’s body image but that doesn’t stop at high fashion catwalk models.
‘Tweets from brands making light of calorie counting or products from a children’s brand encouraging dieting are totally part of this.’
Truffle Shuffle, who make the t-shirts exclusively for Miffy, said: ‘It is an exclusive item. It is a Miffy product that has been licensed and approved.
‘It has gone through Miffy and they are happy with it.’
A Miffy spokeswoman said: ‘Miffy is a classic children’s book character who has been around for over 60 years.
‘Her cute image appeals to both adults and children alike.
‘This jumper was designed specifically for adult fans with a sense of humour and was never intended to cause offense.’