A happy blend of body image and plus-size advertising has been a dilemma in the press recently. We’ve seen debacles from Target about models and the color names of products, the mentioning of producing a plus-size Barbie, the realization that company’s don’t use real plus-size models, and Lululemon‘s CEO criticizing the size of their customers. Why is it so hard to advertise toward plus-size shoppers?
We all know that health has been on the mind of everyone, but that shouldn’t force its way into clothing advertisements. Any size of shopper should be able to see what they could look like in a garment.
Reading the articles mentioned, the common statement from plus-size shoppers is retailers/advertisers need to use real plus-size models. The problem is the average plus-size model is a size 10 or 12 and the average woman is a size 14, so what is plus size? Where are the size 24 shoppers supposed to look for hot trends?
Huffington post reports:
…many plus-size shoppers actually do want to see more representative body types. A 2013 survey conducted by PLUS Model Magazine found that a whopping 91.4 percent of respondents would prefer to see plus-size models larger than a size 12 in ads and magazines, and 94.8 percent of women said they don’t consider sizes 6, 8 and 10 models to be representative of the plus-size market.
Why do you think the 2004 Dove “Real Beauty” Campaign was such a success? It showed what real women look like. Plus-size shoppers want to see real plus-sized shoppers. And remember to check your copy on all ads to not offend anyone.