By Holly Russel, Regular Contributor September 16, 2015
What a week it has been; it seems like every day a new topic related to our bodies is trending. Do we love our bodies enough? Do we hate our bodies enough? What do we think about other people’s bodies? Does fat shaming exist? What about skinny shaming? It’s enough to make your head spin.
Women’s apparel retailer, Layne Bryant, is entering the conversation with a new brand campaign aimed at inclusion. The campaign is called #PlusIsEqual.
It’s not, “plus is somehow a more “real” representation of women’s bodies,” and not, “plus can be beautiful, we’re here to prove it.” Just simply, plus is equal.
Brian Beitler, Layne Bryant’s Chief Marketing Officer, told Refinery29:
“We think #PlusIsEqual is the anthem that should carry forth the message…that all women deserve to see themselves represented equally across our culture, in all the various forums as a sexy woman, as a bold and confident woman, as a compassionate woman. The reality is that America needs a better representation of women across the board.”
This effort to humanize women of all physical types is refreshing. The campaign doesn’t pit “curvy” women against “skinny” women or promote one version of what health and wellness looks like over another; it’s basically the marketing equivalent of observing without judging.
image via plusisequal.com
It’s a wise move forward from the brand’s latest campaign, #ImNoAngel, which took exception to Victoria’s Secret’s “The Perfect Body” Angels campaign.
The fact is, women look like Victoria’s Secret models, and they look like Layne Bryant models. There’s really no need to position women as opponents based simply on their differences. While the #ImNoAngel campaign seemed like a swipe at VS, #PlusIsEqual feels like a more authentic rallying cry to unite women of all body types.
The need for a fashion campaign like #PlusIsEqual is clear – consider, as Racked.com pointed out:
the only two pages in the 832-page issue of September’s Vogue featuring plus-size women are the ones with Lane Bryant’s advertisement printed on them.
Hopefully, more diverse images in advertising will eventually inspire more diverse images in fashion editorials. Until then, companies like Layne Bryant are here to lead the way.
Beitler goes on further to explain:
“If we are truly going to move to a world where women are fairly represented, we've got to raise strong, bold, confident young women, and that can only happen if they feel bold and confident in all ways – through education and the intellects of their minds, through the quality of their talents and capabilities, and also through the way they look at themselves from a fashion and beauty perspective. If any one of these areas is unhealthy or diminished, we limit [women from reaching] their full potential, and so as a brand our belief, quite simply, is that we need to move away from a world of shame into a world of positivity.”
For a peek at images from the #PlusIsEqual campaign, and to read the full interview with Beitler, head on over to Refinery29.
Have you seen the new #PlusIsEqual campaign? How can we continue to spread the love for all body types? Tell us below!
Holly Russel has a BA in Journalism from New York University. She’s a Senior Marketing Copywriter for a pet health company and counts dogs among her favorite things on the planet – along with tacos, books, social media, and the City of New York. When she makes it out from behind the computer screen, Holly spends her time practicing yoga, kayaking, and indoor cycling. She lives and writes in Wilmington, NC.
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