"Ads featuring thin models made women feel worse about themselves, but they regarded the brands higher" stated a New Jersey university study inspired by Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. (AdAge.com, 7/31/09) I pondered this for a while...
Women want to feel they can look extraordinary, like the women they see in fashion magazines. 67% of the population of women in this country are a size 14 or larger...Plus Size. Are we so self-loathing that we really feel that brands are less desirable when the model in the ad looks like us?
Check out the Dolce & Gabbana ad above with plus size supermodel Crystal Renn. She has come to symbolize the debate over size in the fashion industry. According to her agent, Gary Dakin, her weight fluctuates between a size 8 and 10, which for the fashion industry is plus size. “I think the fashion industry is changing and is more open to a new ideal,” says Renn. “It’s about a personality and a moment captured..it’s not about body size it’s about talent and effort." Although she's toned up and slimmed down a bit, Crystal's career took off when she was heavier and had the confidence to break barriers in the world of high fashion.
Commercials and talk shows feature plus size women who say they feel trapped in their bodies and unable to fulfill their dreams. This message is so misleading. Contrary to what is seen in the mainstream media, the majority of the women in this country are plus size. It stands to reason that we are doing a heck of a lot more than waiting to drop some weight before we can step up to life. OMG! We are judges, elected officials, designers, stylists, businesswomen and super models, no less.
I was inspired to use my marketing expertise and love of fashion to become a stylist and write this blog. Armed with my MBA, my mission is to destroy these stereostypes and create positive images of plus-size women in the media. I want to change the images that people see of plus size women and ultimately change how we see ourselves.