plus size cocktail dress

UK-based plus size retailer Simply Be has unveiled their completely un-Photoshopped holiday ad campaign, featuring five plus size bloggers modeling their collection, called “Golden Renaissance.” It’s mostly sparkly cocktail dresses and glittery pants (it’s big on sparkle of any kind), and the clothing will be available in sizes 14-32.

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The campaign’s models are Rachel of A Dress Is For Life, Rosie from A Rose Like This, Betty of Pamper and Curves, Nancy Whittington of Sugar, Darling? and Allison McGevna from Inside Allie’s World.

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We’re wild about Simply Be, and featured them last month in our round up of plus size retailers. Not only am I thrilled to see plus size women being celebrated for their beautiful bodies, but it’s especially remarkable that there is a total lack of airbrushing on the models’ bodies. I’ll forgive The Daily Mail’s use of the horrible “real women” in this one case only, because the presence of, I don’t know, visible veins or bunched skin at joints is an actual depiction of reality, as opposed to Photoshopped plastic humanoids.

If it sounds like I’m gushing, it’s because I am. But don’t worry, I am not quite satisfied. I love this ad campaign, and I love that companies like Simply Be exist to give larger women the same options that smaller women are afforded. But you know what would be incredible? A mainstream retailer like, oh, I don’t know, H&M making all of their clothing available in sizes 0-32, and advertising them with models all across that sizing spectrum. Together. Instead of plus sized and straight sized clothing, let’s just have clothing.

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That being said, this is a remarkable step forward. This is the way plus size women should be represented: the photographer didn’t go to any lengths to hide the models’ bodies and there’s no cropping or insane close ups framing out a body. The women look confident, comfortable, and beautiful, and nothing about this screams “specialty market,” except that all of the women so happen to be plus size. Put another way: this works because the models weren’t treated any differently than straight sized models. As it should be.

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 Photos: Simply Be