In the seemingly never ending battle between plus size and skinny models in the fashion industry, this week the plus size camp has taken another shot across the bows. US retailer Lane Bryant has launched a new line of plus size lingerie and couldn't resist the opportunity to have a dig at famed lingerie brand and bastion of the super skinny supermodel, Victoria's Secret.
In their newest campaign, the American plus size retailer have featured a group of popular plus size models in their new lines along with the hashtag #ImNoAngel emblazoned across the photographs - a clear swipe at the 'Angels'; the group of supermodels used to promote the Victoria Secret brand and walk in their famed catwalk shows across the world.
The idea behind the advert is that the brand, in their own words, want to 'defy typical beauty standards'. But in reality is that what they are actually doing?
Now I'm all for the modelling industry to be inclusive of all body shapes and sizes and I think plus size modelling has a valid and important role in the industry, but I also think that the average consumer these days is wise enough to know that skinny doesn't equal beautiful any more.
If anything this campaign seems much more like a marketing stunt than any kind of revolution to 'defy beauty standards'. Let's look at the facts - these plus size models are no more representative of plus size women than skinny models are of skinny women! Just like a size 6 model is the perfect 6, these plus size models have the perfect body shape for their respective dress sizes. They don't have lumps and bumps or bits that are out of proportion like real women - they don't have an ounce of cellulite or a saggy bit between them. Not to mention the fact that they are all drop dead bloody gorgeous!
A model is and always will be there to create a perfect image for the consumer to aspire to. Diet Coke adverts show pretty young women working in a cool office in the city. Mercedes adverts show young, free and single guy speeding through the Alps. In other words, a dream that their customers can buy into.
This rule is no different for plus size retailers. They are still selling an ideal to the customer in the guise of photographs of stunning plus size models looking amazing.
So yes, maybe plus size women can't wear Victoria's Secret, but as this brand shows there is still amazingly sexy underwear that they can wear - do women really need to be reminded that they'll never be a supermodel? I'm sure that the majority of women know that already without an advertising campaign to do it for them.
Instead of making this yet another way to make being plus size some kind of counter culture against society's norms why not just tell it like it is? The underwear is designed for curvy women and looks great on them - shouldn't that be enough?