Brands like Aerie and Sports Illustrated know that embracing women’s bodies — and all the shapes and sizes they come in — is good for business.
Lane Bryant, though, has known this for years and has built its entire brand around providing fashion-forward clothes for plus-sized women long before body acceptance was a thing.
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The company’s newest campaign — This Body — is an ode to everything a woman’s body can do and is centered around a new commercial featuring SI cover girl Ashley Graham and other diverse models like Tara Lynn, Denise Bidot, Georgia Pratt and Precious Lee. The 30-second spot shows the women explaining what “this body” can do — Graham’s is “made for being bold, powerful and sexy,” while new mom Lynn is shown breastfeeding and says hers is “made for love.”
The commercial is badass and unapologetically in your face, which has proved to be too much for some networks. According to TMZ, several networks have opted out of airing the ad because it shows too much skin.
“As part of the normal advertising standards process, we reviewed a rough cut of the ad and asked for minor edits to comply with broadcast indecency guidelines,” a rep for NBC told the New York Daily News. “The ad was not rejected and we welcome the updated creative.”
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This isn’t the first time a Lane Bryant ad has been banned. Another spot featuring Graham was rejected for similar reasons. Still, the outright rejection of the ad doesn’t pass the smell test, according to the company.
“I don’t think these models are any more nude than any other models we’ve seen on TV,” a rep told the Daily News. “This was not a hard-hitting conversation about body positivity. This was a playful way to engage our women and all women.”
And they’re right. Though it does show skin, it’s not gratuitous and doesn’t show nudity in the slightest — in fact, many television programs routinely show more skin than what was featured in the commercial.
So, is body acceptance not ready for primetime? Seems like it.
“We’ve seen it on the fashion runways and in print for decades, and though we’ve made some progress, a larger size model even today can still raise eyebrows and be seen as ‘imperfect,'” Lane Bryant’s CEO and president, Linda Heasley, told Refinery29. “I’m completely confident that the next generation will look back on these days of exclusion and shake their heads in wonder that it was ever common practice.”
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