Why a Swede got Ikea to ditch a nuclear family sign

Why a Swede got Ikea to ditch a nuclear family sign
A woman orders Swedish meatballs at Ikea in Oslo. File photo: Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix
A 23-year-old mother got Sweden talking this week when she upbraided Ikea over a sign directed at children.

Beatrice Hurtig was heating baby food at Ikea’s restaurant in Örebro in central Sweden when she saw a sign that agitated her, Expressen reports.  

“More room between tables for you and your mum and dad in the family corner,” the sign promised. 

Hurtig said she got a knot in her stomach and immediately took a snap of the sign. She sent the photo to Ikea via Facebook and asked them to take the sign down.

“Children are the ones supposed to read this notice. Imagine a child who lives with their grandmother, or has a parent who’s out of the picture, or has parents who simply don’t think they belong in traditional gender categories,” Hurtig told Expressen. 

“It’s wrong on so many levels. Ikea is a good place for an excursion and it should be good for everybody.”

Ikea duly took the sign down. A spokesman said the company agreed it had not been well worded.

“We at Ikea respect all people and want everybody to feel welcome,” Per Henning told Expressen. 

The story hit a nerve with Swedes and was shared widely on social media. Not everybody was thrilled that Hurtig had reacted to the sign or that Ikea had taken it down. 

Writing on Facebook, Hurtig said: “I can’t understand that people are so offended that I thought a change to a sign might be in order.”

Hurtig said she hadn’t wanted to make a big deal of it. She contacted Ikea, they changed the sign, and then she was contacted by the media – not the other way around. 

Since then she has been inundated with people “harassing me, writing about my appearance” and hoping for her to become a victim of sexual offences. 

“Because I wanted everybody to be included. Because I like people and want the best for them.”

The Local has tried to reach Beatrice Hurtig.