On March 10th, TMZ released a statement regarding plus-size clothing brand Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant’s most recent TV ad-featuring plus size models Ashley Graham and Precious Lee was banned by multiple TV stations, including ABC and NBC. The ad was deemed to be too scandalous to air. Yes, there was a lot of skin shown, but since advertisers strongly believe sex sells, is it really an issue to show an ad featuring a lot of skin? Lane Bryant responded to TMZ by saying “Our sources firmly believe it’s a size issue and not nudity.”
This is the full statement Lane Bryant released regarding the issue:
“The THIS BODY campaign was meant to be a fun way for us to celebrate and honor women of all shapes and sizes. What is too much for some does not hold true for others. All women should be celebrated and feel empowered to express themselves as they see fit. We want her to know she can attract as much media attention, look just as striking as any woman, and decide what beautiful means to her. The THIS BODY commercial holds nothing back. It is a true celebration of women of all sizes doing what makes THEM feel beautiful whether its breastfeeding their newborn, flaunting their bodies the way they see fit, breaking down barriers all around and simply being who they are or want to be!” Source: Cosmopolitain.com
It seems that Lane Bryant is right. There ads do have plus-size models and real women in the ad celebrating their curvy bodies. But why is this too scandalous where other companies such as Victoria’s Secret-whose models are only wearing lingerie- appropriate for television?
Why is it acceptable to discriminate against plus-size women who are celebrating their bodies rather than hating it as society teaches us to do? It is important to have representation of all types of women on television so little girls know that they do not have to be a stick thin model to be beautiful and loved.
For me, it is important to have women that look like me in the media in a positive light. A lot of heavier people in commercials are usually just promoting weight loss. Recently one of the models in the ad, Ashley Graham, was featured on the cover Sports Illustrated. This had its fair share of controversy as some believed Sports Illustrated was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. That is the issue here. Everyone plays doctor and assumes a plus-size person is automatically unhealthy. A skinnier person could be just as unhealthy-if not more. Maybe that’s why the network was hesitant to play the ad, because they will face criticism for promoting the unhealthy lifestyle.
The issue is that plus-size women are not regularly celebrated in the media. To have an advertisement where plus-size women are loving rather than hating their bodies is so important. These are the types of advertisements we need to see on television. The issue here is not that the ad is scandalous, the real ‘issue’ is that the ad features women who do not fit society’s mold of beautiful and sexy.
I applaud Lane Bryant for creating multiple body positive campaigns (their past campaigns include #imnoangel and #plusisequal). Even if their ads may not make it onto the small screen, their message will be seen. It is so very important that it does.
You can check out the ad here:
Comment below on what you think about the ad, too scandalous or body positive?