Ashbastus does a great job of discussing the issues with Lane Bryant’s new #ImNoAngel campaign. I heartily agree, especially with this quote,
is it really so much to ask to have a bit of diversity in what’s supposed to be a ground breaking campaign? I want to see more than just slightly wider women with flat bellies and thin faces. I want fashion made for fat women to showcase ACTUAL fat women in their ads. The vast majority of us buying from these companies still don’t look like these models. We have visible rolls, we have double chins, we have stretch marks, we have cellulite. All of that is okay. You can’t claim to love and support fat women without actually showing fat women’s bodies.
While I am happy to see SOME effort being made to show that all bodies are beautiful, I am tired of settling for the scraps that the fashion industry/media sees fit to throw to us fat girls. So while yes, it’s nice that they are making an effort, I am not going to fawn over how wonderful it is that we are getting “some” exposure.
Thanks for the though LB, but it’s not enough. It’s not enough because the models that you are presenting as representations of ‘all bodies’ or of ‘fat women’ are NOT representative. They are not representative of me, nor are the representative of a large majority of the customers who shop in your stores. The bodies you are presenting are still those deemed ‘acceptable’ by society. These women (while lovely) still have bodies that society sees as merely ‘curvy’ as opposed to fat, most of them still hourglass shaped, and therefore still capable of being sexualized by the media.
Again, I am definitely NOT attacking these models, I think they are beautiful and I do love seeing something other than ‘straight-sized’ models featured in the media. However, what I want to see is more diversity in the bodies. I would love to see beautiful fat women with rolls and cellulite (like me!). I would love to see beautiful women of diverse races and skin colors. I would love to see beautiful disabled women with mobility aids, prosthetics, missing limbs, or hearing aids. I would love to see women who are very short (like me!), and very tall. I want wider diversity and more representation for ALL women, not just those society has deemed acceptable to display in their underwear.
Even more, I would love to see a company that features a wide range of diverse bodies from thin to fat, young to old, all races and abilities, all in ONE PLACE. What an amazing thing it would be to look at an ad or a catalog that features women who look like my friend who is naturally thin and wears a hearing aid, as well as women who are short and fat like me. Imagine a company that employs models with the palest skin (like me) all the way to women with beautiful dark complexions. What if we had a catalog where my friends with freckles, as well as my friends who use wheelchairs could ALL see pictures of women who looked like them, modeling beautiful clothing? What if we had a catalog where people of ALL genders modeled ALL types of clothing, not just those society says are appropriate for their assigned gender?
To some, it may seem like I am really reaching here. It may seem that I have some pretty high (and some may say unrealistic) hopes and dreams… But you know what? I bet plenty of people said the same thing to the suffragettes years ago, as they demanded the vote for women.
If we continue to demand diversity and representation, and stop accepting the paltry scraps we have been given for so long, we can make a change, and we can move that mountain.