If you’re a regular consumer of social and digital media, you may have noticed that body type diversity in fashion has been gaining traction. We are in an unprecedented era of change, and embracing this body-positive outlook has definitely been a long time coming. It’s empowering to see women of all shapes, sizes, and colors representing and celebrating body types that look like mine and millions of other women in America. And one of my favorite retailers, Lane Bryant, is helping to pave the way to make plus size fashion a new norm.
“This Body is Made to Shine” is a second installment of the 2016 “This Body” campaign, and it’s being received exceptionally well on a variety of platforms. The campaign features models like Ashley Graham, Alessandra Garcia, and Candice Huffine, as well as OITNB actress Danielle Brooks and Empire star Gabourney Sidibe. Lane Bryant is pushing to overcome misconceptions by taking on the negative stigma of being fat and disrupting the tired and dated idea that women must strive for the “perfect” body. Take a look at the campaign commercial:
Unapologetic. Witty. Strong. These girls are quickly becoming my favorite humans in entertainment and fashion. Just sayin’. Welcome to the bakery!
Lane Bryant’s fall campaign is visible in stores and online, through digital and social media, as well as on billboards and in magazines. The plus size retailer has also partnered with Glamour magazine and Refinery 29, both women’s fashion publications, to spotlight and celebrate women’s diverse and unique bodies in a bold and unapologetic manner.
Of course, progress wouldn’t be progress if not for criticism, right? Through all the positive messages and empowerment, there will always be those who seem to think they can dictate what women should and shouldn’t wear, do, say, feel, or behave. On the other hand, there are also those who believe that Lane Bryant is selling empowerment as a commodity, or that they’re selling body-positive language in order to boost sales. Some even feel like the plus size fashion industry is “skinny-shaming” by shining a negative light on being thin in an attempt to boost the confidence of big girls. Take for example Lane Bryant’s “I’m No Angel” campaign – a jab at notoriously thin Victoria Secret lingerie models (also known as Angels). Whatever the case, there will always be dissent.
If you ask me, I absolutely love this campaign. It’s smart, insightful, and is targeting an audience largely ignored by the fashion industry until recently. I can’t help but wonder what took them so long to figure it out. Do you think this is just another way to sell empowerment to women as a commodity? Or do you believe its important for big corporations to use their positions to help shape societal norms? Comment your thoughts below.
Moin, D. (3 Sept. 2016). Ashley Graham, Danielle Brooks and Gabourey Sidibe step up for Lane Bryant’s fall campaign. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from: http://www.latimes.com/fashion/la-ig-fashion-models-lane-bryant-20160923-snap-story.html
Ilyashov, A. (22 Sept. 2016).The New Faces Of Lane Bryant Are Exactly What We Needed — & We Think You’ll Agree. Refinery 29. Retrieved from: http://www.refinery29.com/2016/09/124036/lane-bryant-danielle-brooks-this-body-campaign-photos#slide
Williams, M.E. (15 Sept. 2015).Lane Bryant’s #PlusIsEqual campaign: Selling you empowerment, one outfit at a time. Salon. Retrieved from: http://www.salon.com/2015/09/15/lane_bryants_plusisequal_campaign_selling_you_empowerment_one_outfit_at_a_time/