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.