beauty

Victoria's Secret ad sparks two very different body-positive campaigns.

Much like a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, this is a campaign against a campaign against stick-thin models.

This body-positive advertising campaign, launched last month by plus-sized retailer Lane Bryant, received praise from far and wide. Fierce, happy women looking smoking hot in their underwear and taking a pointed stand against the glossy ‘perfection’ of lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret: What’s not to like?

EmpowerALLBodies
Lane Byrant’s body-positive campaign was not diverse enough, Jes says. Image via Twitter.

But it seems, not everybody was happy with it.

Blogger and self-proclaimed international body advocate Jes Baker said that the campaign – called #ImNoAngel, a reference to Victoria’s Secret’s controversial “The Perfect Body” ad slogan – did not show enough body variety. She was concerned that the #ImNoAngel simply replaced one homogenous body type with another and that diversity was sadly missing.

EmpowerALLBodies
The Victoria’s Secret campaign that sparked the #ImNoAngel backlash. Image via Twitter.
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So Jes Baker launched her own.

Partnering with photographer Jade Beall, Jes recreated the images with women of a variety of ages, sizes and ethnicities.

And the results are stunning… Take a look:

Image via Instagram.

Beautiful…

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Image via Instragram.

Awesome…

Image via Facebook.

True diversity.

In an open letter to Lane Bryant on her blog, Jes labelled the #ImNoAngel campaign an “empowerment backfire”, saying it showed only one shape — the traditional hourglass figure, where the waistline is considerably smaller than the bust and hips.

“When we, as a society, fail to include diverse bodies in our media, the message becomes clear to those excluded: you are unworthy of taking up space. It’s a powerful message that settles into the core of those who aren’t represented,” she wrote in the letter.

“It’s critical that we #EmpowerALLBodies, and it’s more important to do so than we think.”

Image via Facebook.

Jes asked the company to do more in the future to include real women, women with women with cellulite, bellies, disabilities, stretch marks and wrinkles.

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You’ve presented the “ideal” plus body: hourglass, perceivably “healthy”, cellulite free, able bodied, cis-gender, and “conventionally” beautiful. And while I appreciate your conscious inclusion of varying skin tones (and Elly’s scar), I’m going to ask you to consider including some of the following next time: cellulite; 90% of women have it. Bellies; many plus women don’t have flat torsos. All abilities; we’re all inherently sexy. Transgender women; they’re “all woman” too. Small boobs and wide waists; we’re not all “proportional.” Stretch marks and wrinkles; they’re trophies of a life lived. And this is just the beginning!

EmpowerALLBodies
Image via Twitter.

The images were shared loudly and proudly on social media with the hashtag #EmpowerALLBodies. And Jes was pretty stoked with Lane Bryant’s response.

EmpowerALLBodies
Image via Twitter

The response from Lane Bryant chief executive Linda Heasley said:

“Yes, we can do even more in supporting women, pushing body confidence and self-esteem amplification as well as making inclusiveness more a part of the norm. Over the many decades that I have been active in Women’s Issues and Concerns, I have come to appreciate that Feminist issues are in fact Humanist issues.  We together can make this world better for so many.”

We can’t wait to see images just like these ones.  

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