Body sizes and norms?

I have recently heard a new expression called « Body positivity » which translates as a social movement rooted in the belief that all human beings should have a positive body image while challenging the ways in which society presents and views the physical body. The movement advocates the acceptance of all bodies regardless of physical ability, size, gender, race, or appearance.

Have you heard about it too?

To me, this sounds an amazing concept but I would disagree that many brands, whether small, mainstream, or fast fashion ones are really applying the concept in their collection.

By body positivity, this means that brands should be making clothes for above European size 44 (or the equivalent of US 10 size), but they usually stop there.  Would you ask someone who is a bit overweight to find their clothes in the Pregnant women’s section? No, this is terrible. Fashion brands are not trying enough.

I came across these two pictures last week, one billboard ad from 1999 and a second one from 2019, both from Calvin Klein. In the first one, this is the « skinny diktat » (to be beautiful, be skinny) and it just does refer to this woman and the bikini. This is what I called a « product-oriented/commercial ad ». While the second one is more about a statement of Jari Jones, a  transgender model who clearly states « I speak my truth in my Calvin Klein ». This second ad is about « social marketing », which is connected to the planning and implementation of programs designed to bring about social change using concepts from commercials.  The second billboard ad is definitely a strong statement of Body Positivity.

While researching more about this transformation of messages, I could find a lot of people complaining about the second billboard. Yes, it provokes because this is a strong message but this has developed a lot of hats on the web.

 

One more brand that is working hard on social changes and body positivity would be Nike as they are specifically highlighted differently-able and promote various available sizes for all kinds of bodies.

Overall, I am thinking that brands still need to work and apply more to this concept. What do you think?


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