There has been a surge in plus-size social media campaigns going viral recently. Model Stefania Ferrario started #DropThePlus so she would simply be referred to as a model and Lane Bryant‘s #ImNoAngel campaign was a response to Victoria’s Secret‘s Perfect Body campaign. Many applauded Lane Bryant’s campaign for being body positive but a few campaigns have been created in highlight the issues with it. Plus-size Amanda Richards‘ #ImNoModelEither campaign went viral. She called on Lane Bryant to show a more diverse range of bodies in their advertisements and she posted photos of herself in her underwear to highlight her point. Following Amanda’s successful campaign, plus-size blogger Jes Baker of The Militant Baker has started the #EmpowerAllBodies campaign.
Jes wrote an open letter to Lane Byrant CEO Linda Heasley to express some of the issues with the plus-size retailer’s #ImNoAngel campaign. She wished that the photos portrayed more body diversity. She discussed how a group of bloggers had a meeting at the Lane Bryant HQ a few months back and they said how they hoped to see a wider variety of women in the company’s ads. Jes highlights how Linda said the latest ads were meant to “empower ALL women to love every part of herself” but it is difficult for them to be effective when they only show one body type:
“Personally, I question how empowering these images can be for ‘all women.’ #ImNoAngel only shows ONE shape while redefining the sexy plus women; that shape being the traditional hourglass: a body with a waistline considerably smaller than a larger bust and hips.”
Jes recreated the campaign’s black-and-white photos to highlight her point. The images were shot by Jade Beall and feature women of a wide variety of ages, ethnicities, body types and sizes with visible cellulite. Jes asks that future Lane Bryant campaigns include cellulite, all abilities, transgender women, wrinkles and bodies of varying proportions.
The #EmpowerAllBodies campaign highlights the issues that the #ImNoModelEither campaign raised. The #ImNoAngel campaign did have a body positive message but both social media campaigns raise very good points about featuring more diversity. Every women is different and unique so representing one type of body in a campaign that is meant to empower all women isn’t very effective. It will never be possible to showcase every type of woman in one ad, but if the photos portray a good mix of women that is representative of society, that would be a very effective ad.
Check out The Militant Baker to read Jes’ full letter and to see more photos.
(Photo: Jade Beall Photography/The Militant Baker)