In the current fashion industry, where being thin is celebrated and curves are ignored, there’s finally a breath of fresh air.
Last month, on Vogue’s September issue, a teaser ad appeared that showed silhouettes of curvy women with the hashtag #PlusIsEqual. It stirred some controversy because in the entire 832-page magazine, that was the only section with models who were plus-sized.
This month, the ad became a full-on campaign. At the New York Fashion Week, Lane Bryant fully unveiled the campaign, which features some of the industry’s top plus-sized models: Precious Lee, Sabina Karisson, Ashley Graham, Justine Legault, Candice Huffine and Georgia Pratt.
They also launched a website for the campaign, which shows the model and gives some interesting facts about curvaceous women. For instance, according to the website, over 67% of women in the US are plus-sized (From 14 to 34). However, the media hardly ever represents them.
This is a clear case of inequality and discrimination, and the worst thing is, it’s been getting worse over the past few years. In 1995, models on average weighed 8% less than the average American woman. By 2012, however, the average model weighed 23% less than the average American woman. As a result, over 92% of plus-sized women rightly feel that the media grossly under-represents them.
Linda Heasley, who heads Lane Bryant, believes that there needs to be more dramatic progress in giving curvaceous women higher representation in the fashion industry. That’s why her brand, which is 110 years old, is openly supporting this change (oh, and the company tagline reads “It’s time for change”).
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What Lane Bryant is doing is long overdue. Beauty standards have become increasingly difficult for the average woman to attain; just look at 1960s pinup models and compare them to the skinny ones we have today.
The size of one’s body should never be used as the standard for determining whether or not you’re beautiful. And lots of people outside the fashion industry acknowledge this. On Twitter, the hashtag went viral, reaching over 2 million people. More companies should emulate Lane Bryant. Check out their ad: