Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

Plus Sized

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Tracy Clark-Foley on Salon.com reports on the “controversy” over Lane Bryant’s plus-sized ads being pulled from Fox and ABC, with the insinuation that the broadcast networks didn’t like the girth of the model. Then the comments explode in a sort of collective back-patting over how pretty the plus-sized lingerie model looks in the 30-second spot, calling her “curvy” and “voluptuous.”

Quite honestly, I didn’t see very many curves in that ad.

There was only one full body shot of the model, where-in she was donning a black overcoat. It was almost as if – gasp – they were surreptitiously editing out the curves! I mean, I saw that she had large breasts. I saw a close up of a little bit of stomach pudge over her ‘supporting’ briefs. But curves? It was a tasteful edit of a large woman, meant to sell lingerie to large women.

That’s fine: It’s a good business decision – as the average weight of the American rises, it would behoove clothing manufacturers to change their ads to sell to the average – but that decision is purely business. They don’t answer, “should I be this weight?” They answer, “can I feel a bit happier at this weight?” (Sure, if you buy Lane Bryant.)

“Curvy” is a euphemism. “Full-figured” is a euphemism. Once those get similar stigmas as the previous terms for large women, we’ll move onto “voluptuous” or “statuesque” or whatever, and pull out Marilyn Monroe’s corpse for another go-around to show how great curvy women are and why “larger than the norm” can still be considered sexy.

Marilyn Monroe was 120 lbs. That’s 20 lbs less than the average American woman nowadays. Consider that.

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