The September issue of Vogue Magazine always captures the attention of many and this month, a particular advertorial is generating quite a bit of interest. This is down to US plus-size fashion retailer Lane Bryant, who says she is ready to “remind the fashion industry that all women are equal”, regardless of shape or size. The mysterious ad features curvaceous plus-sized models with the date September 14th and hashtag #PlusIsEqual but little else.
The ad directs you to the campaign’s website, which details the lack of body diversity in the fashion industry today. “The average US woman has always been represented by models that weigh less, but within 17 years their average weight has dropped significantly,” it said. “Sixty-seven percent of US women are size 14-34. But they’re underrepresented on billboards, magazines, TV… everywhere.”
— Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) August 26, 2015
Though many view it as a positive step that the ad was featured in such an iconic fashion publication, Vogue has also come under fire because the advertisement is the only time plus-sized models are featured throughout the 832-pages. And while many might see it as “just two pages,” others in the industry are applauding a huge success.
“It is an advertisement, but it is still an achievement, and it should be seen as one,” said Jenny McQuaile, director of Straight/Curve, a documentary she filmed by speaking with many plus-size models, editors and photographers. “There was a time when you wouldn’t dream of even seeing a plus-size model in an ad in the September issue of Vogue,” she told Mashable.
“What makes anyone think an editorial isn’t going to follow?” added Jessica Lewis, producer of Straight/Curve.
The Huffington Post noted that seven September issues of some of the biggest fashion publications: Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Elle, Marie Claire, InStyle and Cosmopolitan, featured zero plus-size models in any editorial, and that fact alone tells us that there is a long way to go before we see a change. Actress Melissa McCarthy pointed out that she could get no major designer to dress her curvier shape for the red carpet two years ago and, as a result, has created her own fashion label to help bridge this gap.
“It’s time we see more women on the pages of these magazines, in editorials, which are representative of two-thirds of women out there,” McQuaile continued. “We are making strides, but we still have a ways to go.”