I’d like to say I was surprised when this image appeared on my timeline this morning,
I wasn’t though, I was disappointed, but not surprised.
This was a promotional photoshoot to publicise the start of UK Plus Size Fashion Week, shot wearing the latest Evans campaign slogan “#StyleHasNoSize” in the Evans store window. What a wasted opportunity. These five models, gorgeous as they are, are very much the acceptable version of plus size.
Only a small percentage of people would look at these five and think “plus size”, they are according to the fashion industry of course, but to those who shop at Evans? Not really.
The biggest problem with it is actually not the lack of diversity, like I say, that bit is unsurprising, it’s the use of that slogan. This is a quote direct from the Evans website
Our #STYLEHASNOSIZE campaign celebrates every woman’s shape and style – a message to challenge preconceptions
Don’t know about you, but I assumed that when they wrote “every woman’s shape and style” that they meant a range of women, if we go by the latest image they actually meant every woman as long as she looks exactly like this.
One of the things that has made me fall in love with plus size blogging so much is that it is one of the few ways I can see what clothes might actually look like on someone like me. And it’s been exciting to see more brands joining in, using bloggers and customers to showcase the clothing they sell.
I have about as much interest in seeing clothes on “acceptable” plus size women as on straight size women. It means nothing to me, gives me no clue as to how the fabric or cut will work when confronted with jiggly, squishy bits. It’s not useful and it doesn’t sell the clothes to me. In addition it makes me feel unwanted by a brand, the models they choose to use to showcase their fashion usually look how they want their ideal customer to look, if their models are all flat stomachs and hourglass curves, well then, I’m not for them am I?
The plus size blogging and activist community has put so much work, love and heartache into trying to improve things for plus size women. Not just in terms of accessible clothes, but also in terms of trying to make it less taboo to be fat. To then see a plus size brand use a body positive slogan, something that is political no matter how you look at it, something that couldn’t exist without the work of all those amazing plus size women, and then use it to promote more of the same limited representation of women? It’s a slap in the face, and it’s not on.
Get your act together Evans and Plus Size Fashion Week.