New research could well turn the fashion industry on its head. Apparently, average-sized, realistically shaped women could help brands to sell more clothes to women than the young, whippet-like models that have long been sought by the world’s biggest brands as they (perhaps wrongly) assume this is ideal to which we all aspire.
Though still controversial, the super skinny model scenario is becoming less of an issue as major players in the industry pump money into advertisements that are inclusive of women that come in all shapes and sizes (Nike, Dove etc.). It is fair to say that we no longer live in world where zero is hero and more so than ever, it’s strong that we’re aiming for, not skinny. This kind of research could further confirm that ‘real’ is where it’s at, especially when it comes to marketing strategies and making money.
These findings come from the University of Kent who polled a group of women aged between 18 and 45. When it came to established fashion brands with which the women were familiar, they showed no preference between average and size-zero models. They were not more drawn to the size-zero shape. Furthermore, when the women were shown imagery from “new brands” (brands that don’t actually exist) the results surprised the researchers: they actually preferred the more realistic models to those that fit the size-zero category.
“The issue of the fashion industry’s use of skinny models is very controversial and we have even seen France’s parliament considering a ban. Our research shows that the fashion industry has nothing to fear from using average-sized models in it marketing campaigns, and could even find that it sells more of its products by doing so,” Dr. Bian, lead researcher.
Will this be enough to bid farewell to the pressures on models to remain almost dangerously thin? Would you be more inclined to buy clothes advertised by a woman whose shape toward which you can relate?