Plus-sized fashion

UNTJ4470- Ethics

Lane Bryant says 67% of U.S. women wear between sizes 14 to 34. Lane Bryant is a retail brand that has strived to break fashion norms and make plus-sized clothing fashionable.

Credit: Lane Brynat

Credit: Lane Bryant

The #ImNoAngel campaign was seen as a snub to Victoria’s Secret. You don’t have to be an angel to be seductive to find underwear that fits perfectly and that still makes you look and feel good. No one can deny that these models are beautiful. Yet it is rare to find women that look like this on runways and fashion magazines, even though these models are “the average woman.”

Lane Bryant launched a new campaign in time for the 2016 Spring/Summer presentations for New York Fashion week. #PlusIsEqual calls for equal representation for models of all sizes in the fashion industry. This campaign was even placed in the September issue of Vogue Magazine.

Lane Bryant is not the only fashion influencer challenging the standard norms of beauty. Italian Vogue, who is know for pushing the boundaries for the standard norms of beauty featured a plus sized models on its June 2011 cover- something American Vogue has never explicitly done.

Credit: Vogue Italia

Credit: Vogue Italia

Plus sized model Candice Huffine, who is not the Vogue cover and featured in both Lane Bryant campaigns, recently did an interview with the Washington Post discussing her career as a model and her thoughts on being categorized as plus sized.

To answer the question “what obligation do advertisers have in terms of goodwill toward the audience” in regards to issues of body image, Huffine provides some thoughts of her own.

“My theory is that if a designer puts a plus girl on the runway, it might imply they are making plus clothing, and until its clear they are going to do that, it might be best to avoid that confusion or controversy.”

Does the fashion industry have an obligation to push images of “real” women? If they are not going to make an effort to sell clothes past a size 12, then it makes sense that the women who model their clothes, both in print and on the runway, look like the targeted audience. At the same time, most of the images that consumers see in fashion are neither realistic nor attainable. And if a majority of women are “plus” then doesn’t it make more sense to appeal to the majority?