The interesting thing about the new Lane Bryant’s ad is the models they chose to use. They are trying to promote that big is beautiful, and I get that because that’s their business, but the funny thing is that they only used one really big woman, a woman who is famous for playing a really big woman and a woman who has worked hard and decided to lose weight since that movie.
The majority of the women used in the commercial say that they are a size 14, which, though technically is plus sized, is also sold in most “regular sized” stores. The women are not obese, they are mostly curvy.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that anyone should be shamed for anything. I don’t
think that overweight people are ugly or gross, but I do know that being overweight is unhealthy. This ad seriously sends a mixed message. A message that it’s ok to be “fat”… which it’s really not, but uses women who are either still within the healthy parameter and a woman who has realized that her weight was actually a bad thing and has chosen to become more healthy.
Ad campaigns like this are very difficult. Obviously Lane Bryant would love the obesity epidemic to continue… it’s their bread and butter, so to speak, but they are actually using healthy people to tell others that it’s ok to not be healthy. This is why society is so screwed up. No one wants to be responsible for themselves, no one wants to think about how their actions affect the future. “It’s ok to be obese because I’m still beautiful”. Yes, yes you can still be beautiful at any size, yes a little roll when you sit down is completely normal. No, you do not have to be a stick to be attractive.
The girl who is on the cover of Sports Illustrated is correct, she did open eyes of many. There are many people who say that you can’t be athletic and not be skinny, but anyone who has ever seen a real athlete knows that’s not true. Most athletes have a lot of muscle and even a little big of healthy body weight.. that is completely normal. The problem with campaigns like this is not that it’s promoting self esteem. The problem is that it’s comparing healthy and curvy with obesity and saying it’s all the same. It’s not. We need a campaign that says healthy is beautiful!