General chatter - This really upsets me




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bandit bear
02-10-2012, 01:56 AM
http://www.lanebryant.com/content.jsp?pageName=RealWomenDollars&intid=LB020712x0001

I saw this when I was walking through the mall today.

Real Women Dollars? As in, if you are plus-sized, you're a real woman, but if you aren't, then is Lane Bryant implying that you aren't a real woman?

I get what they're doing, this whole "Real women have curves" meme has been around for awhile meant to debunk the myth about impossibly thin models being the standard of beauty for women. But the thing is, it totally alienates women who are actually naturally thin or women who have lost weight, basically every woman who isn't plus-sized.

I just wish this whole thing would go away! we need to celebrate women of ALL sizes without alienating anyone.


Rainbowgirl
02-10-2012, 06:40 AM
I agree. The pendulum can swing to the extreme in BOTH ways. We need a happy medium as consumers. How about NOT labeling people? Just having clothes for WOMEN?

bargoo
02-10-2012, 08:44 AM
It's just an advertising gimmick, it does make you talk about Lane Bryant, after all.


runningfromfat
02-10-2012, 09:07 AM
I hate it too. Mostly because:

- real women are not airbrushed, that's about it. We come in all shapes and sizes imaginable
- real women may or MAY NOT have curves. Even if they're plus-sized. I was actually a lot straighter when I was plus-sized. Now that I'm almost at a healthy weight I'm quite a bit curvier (even calculated this once (http://braslessinbrasil.blogspot.com/2011/10/body-shape-and-weight-loss.html) ;) ). Clothes shopping now is a huge pain and finding clothes to fit my curves pretty much all have to be ordered online
- weight loss is a valid choice. Sure, not everyone needs/wants to lose weight. That's their choice but for those of us who do try to lose weight using healthy methods, well, there's nothing wrong with that. How is it any different then someone who wants tatoos or to dye her hair? It's a choice for our bodies.

I get it, women want to have pride in their appearance and there IS a lot of pressure to look perfect so this is the backlash to that. But I think that plus-size companies have to be careful to not do the exact thing that they got upset over in the first place. If they're upset that being tall, thin and modesque is the only standard of beauty, why is it ok to say that being plus-sized makes you real? Besides, I'm sorry but the model in that shot doesn't look at all like I did when I was plus-sized, so does that make her a "unreal woman" too? :rolleyes:

What I would LOVE to see is more diversity in modelling. ALL shapes and sizes, all skin tones, all different styles of beauty. It's really unhelpful for me to decide if an outfit will look good on me if the model trying it on is half a foot taller than me, doesn't have any boobs and has a super tiny waist. Sure, there are women that look like that so it's fine to have some models that look like that but I'd love to have companies showing the same outfit on multiple different body types and sizes.

astrophe
02-10-2012, 09:52 AM
ALL of ads are meant to cause anxiety. Because if you perceive you have a "problem" then you are anxious to buy the "solution." It can certainly influence people -- that's why ads do it. They aren't going to be esp eager to change a formula that works if people still buy into it and buy product. That's what ads are for -- to move product.

Now sometimes we really do need new shoes because the old ones are no good any more. Other times it's just impulse shopping.

For me it was easier to "check out" of consumer culture and just do my own thing than to expect ad culture to change to anything sensible.

"Can't Buy My Love" (http://www.jeankilbourne.com/cantbuy/)by Jeanne Kilbourne was a great read in this area.

About-face.org (http://www.about-face.org/) collects both bad and good ads and you can write to advertisers.

A.

sontaikle
02-10-2012, 11:33 AM
And of course Lane Bryant and all plus size companies use an array of plus size women, right? ;)

Honestly if they want to run around with their "real woman" campaign, they should perhaps refrain from using women who are tall and size 12. A tall woman in size 12 is probably normal sized. Much different than a short woman in size 12 or even a taller woman in size 20. Not to say one body type is better than the other, but a tall 12/14 woman is certainly going to look different in clothing than the majority of plus size women!


What I would LOVE to see is more diversity in modelling. ALL shapes and sizes, all skin tones, all different styles of beauty. It's really unhelpful for me to decide if an outfit will look good on me if the model trying it on is half a foot taller than me, doesn't have any boobs and has a super tiny waist. Sure, there are women that look like that so it's fine to have some models that look like that but I'd love to have companies showing the same outfit on multiple different body types and sizes.

Yes this :) I would love to see how clothes look on different body types.

One of the reasons I loved Torrid was that I looked like the models (although I am obviously just a few inches shorter :lol:). When I was buying Torrid clothes a year, year and a half ago, I was a 12/14 and fit into the smallest sizes in the store and I generally had the pear/hourglass shape that the models did! I bought so many clothes online because it was easy for me to see if it would work on my body based on how it looked on the model.

Now I can't do that with the majority of stores (although after my bra-buying this month I'm going to give BiuBiu a try next month) because all of the regular size clothes are modeled by tall, thin women who have small breasts and are not curvy. Even though I fit into the smallest sizes in some stores now, I can't decide if something will look good on me based on how it looks on the model. It's one of the things I miss about being at the smaller end of the plus size range for a while: I could buy clothes online without worry of how it would fit.

alwe74
02-10-2012, 12:26 PM
What I would LOVE to see is more diversity in modelling. ALL shapes and sizes, all skin tones, all different styles of beauty. It's really unhelpful for me to decide if an outfit will look good on me if the model trying it on is half a foot taller than me, doesn't have any boobs and has a super tiny waist. Sure, there are women that look like that so it's fine to have some models that look like that but I'd love to have companies showing the same outfit on multiple different body types and sizes.

I agree. That's why I love to shop from QVC. When you watch their presentations, they often will have all different size models so you can get an idea of what the clothes would look like on your body type.

runningfromfat
02-10-2012, 12:29 PM
Now I can't do that with the majority of stores (although after my bra-buying this month I'm going to give BiuBiu a try next month) because all of the regular size clothes are modeled by tall, thin women who have small breasts and are not curvy. Even though I fit into the smallest sizes in some stores now, I can't decide if something will look good on me based on how it looks on the model. It's one of the things I miss about being at the smaller end of the plus size range for a while: I could buy clothes online without worry of how it would fit.

totally off topic but BiuBiu is going to be putting up new clothes on their site sometime this month! :woohoo: Also, I placed my first order and it should be here sometime by the end of the month too, I seriously can't wait. :D

bandit bear
02-10-2012, 03:33 PM
It's just an advertising gimmick, it does make you talk about Lane Bryant, after all.

But in the whole "Let's boycott Lane Bryant" thought is what comes to mind.

Times have changed. It used to be that any press was good press (because it got you in the press) but now with the internet, people and businesses can be destroyed thanks to bad business decisions. It's kind of scary, actually.

What I would LOVE to see is more diversity in modelling. ALL shapes and sizes, all skin tones, all different styles of beauty. It's really unhelpful for me to decide if an outfit will look good on me if the model trying it on is half a foot taller than me, doesn't have any boobs and has a super tiny waist. Sure, there are women that look like that so it's fine to have some models that look like that but I'd love to have companies showing the same outfit on multiple different body types and sizes.

Well, that would be kind of impossible and unrealistic (and impractical and expensive, hiring all of those women to model the same outfit) considering how many different body types there are out there. I see your point, but the best way to judge if something looks good on you is to go to the store and try it on, and don't even pay attention to how it looks on the model, because honestly, no matter what, it's still going to look different on her because of tucking, pinning, lighting, styling, etc.

I work at Macy's and I've noticed in the Eileen Fisher merchandising catalogue that we get that the clothes on the mannequins (headless and pretty much shapeless) look entirely different than what we get in shipment and how they look on people. Why? They pin back the clothes. One top in particular looked like it was cut pretty slim, a cute grey and white striped top, but in the store, it's boxy. it no way looks like it does in the catalogue and i thought it was a different top.

Lovely
02-10-2012, 03:57 PM
They've been called Real Women dollars for... a decade? Or maybe not a decade, but many, many years.* I've gotten some rather good savings from them from time to time when I was shopping more.

Never bothered me. I never made the connection that plus-sized women are the "only real women". It's just what they call their promotional savings.

It's like Victoria Secret having 'angel' models. They aren't implying that other women aren't angels.

*ETA: I emphasize years, because they don't call them Real Women Dollars in response to any memes. It's already been established that way for a while. It wasn't recently changed.

bandit bear
02-10-2012, 07:17 PM
They've been called Real Women dollars for... a decade? Or maybe not a decade, but many, many years.* I've gotten some rather good savings from them from time to time when I was shopping more.

Never bothered me. I never made the connection that plus-sized women are the "only real women". It's just what they call their promotional savings.

It's like Victoria Secret having 'angel' models. They aren't implying that other women aren't angels.

*ETA: I emphasize years, because they don't call them Real Women Dollars in response to any memes. It's already been established that way for a while. It wasn't recently changed.

I think you're missing my point. By saying that their clients are "real women" they're erasing other women who don't fit into their demographic. If Lane Bryant plus-sized women are "real women", then what about thin women? the implication is that they aren't real women at all, because only real women have curves. that they're somehow less than because they aren't curvy. Some women are naturally thin, some women work hard to have slimmer physiques, some women simply aren't curvy at all, some women have no boobs, some women have a lot of boobage, some women have curvy hips, some none at all. This whole "real women" and "real women have curves" trope needs to go away and die.

It doesn't matter if they've done it for 10 years, 5 years, or 1 year. It's still problematic. We can't celebrate plus-sized women at the expensive of devaluing thin women. All sizes and shapes and women should be celebrated. Yes, even the thin, 5'9" supermodels.

mlk58
02-10-2012, 07:32 PM
Seriously? I would be very surprised if there were one. single. thin. woman. in the entire world who were, like, hurt or offended because Lane Bryant didn't consider her part of its marketing demographic. I think "less than" is in the eye of the beholder, and somebody who wants to be offended can always find something about which to be offended if she wants to. I also think it's perfectly okay for Lane Bryant to concentrate on celebrating its plus-sized clientele and leave it to others to celebrate the thin, 5'9" supermodels.

kaplods
02-10-2012, 07:54 PM
I don't think Lovey missed the point at all, and in fact clarified it very well. Lane Bryant is no more saying "only plus sized women and no other women" are "real" any more than or less than other advertisers suggest (or even outrightly state) that only their customers are good and perfect.

Considering all the years that the generally-accepted standard of beauty has been not just implicitly, but explicitly telling plus-sized women "you are ugly, you don't belong, you aren't real, you aren't legitimate, you aren't deserving of notice..." it's ironic that a anyone (whether Lane Bryant or FA activists) saying "fat women are... (real, beautiful...)" are accused of IMPLYING (not stating) that other women aren't (and yet where was the outrage when fat women were excluded from the beauty, legitimacy pool).

If I say to other large women "We are real women," and even "Real women have curves," it is unfair to accuse me of saying that women without curves are not real. At least no more fair than it is to be ok with all of the other exclusionary practices in society.

And the argument for advertisers is even a broader reach. If you interpreted toothpaste and cologne ads literally, you'd have to argue that they're promoting sexual assault and mind control... Are you really telling me that spraying Axe cologne on some nerdy, adolescent is going to make beautiful, young, blondes sexually assault the boy - and who is the victim here. The adolescent boy who is being sexually assaulted, or the buxome blonde who is apparently under the influence of a substance more powerful than Rohypnol, the date-rape drug.

Advertising is about hyperbole. Victoria Secret models are not literally angels, and their underwear isn't meant only for women with the perfect bodies of the models (though the implication certainly is such that the lingerie will look as good on an average woman).

In fact, religious folks could just as legitimately be offended by the VS ads - by the ads implication regarding angels. Or others could be just as incensed by the apparent "implications" that only "perfect" supermodels are worthy of wearing VS lingerie.

Advertising in our culture is about exageration and hyperbole. If we're going to target Lane Bryant for encouraging plus-size women to feel real and legitimate (and assume that they by implication are saying "other women aren't real and legitimate). then we have to also target the much more common practice of the the larger segment of society and the fashion industry not just implying, but actually often STATING that less-perfect women aren't worthy or welcome).

It often seems that it's genereally seen as perfectly ok to exclude less popular segments of society, but when the unpopular segments develop their own subculture that excludes the popular segment, then the apparent hypocricy is seen (but only in the hypocricy of the subculture, not that of the mainstream culture).

The fashion industry as a whole (at least the industry of high-fashion) would have us believe that the only real women (because the only ones ever allowed to be seen) are super tall, super thin, usually super pale, adolescents.

And while Lane Bryant catalogs don't display the full diversity of their customer base, they diversity is at least a little wider than the rest of the fashion industry.

To judge Lane Bryant without judging the fashion industry and the advertising industry as a whole by the same standards, seems unfairly arbitrary.

Successful advertisers often not only imply, they often explicitly state that "only our customers are..... (real, smart, beautiful, legitimate, sexy, healthy.... in other words whatever image they're trying to sell to)."

If we're going to bring down Lane Bryant on this point, then we should also "bring down" the entire fashion industry as well as the cosmetic and personal hygiene companies.

Lovely
02-10-2012, 08:12 PM
I think you're missing my point.

I'm not.

I quite agree with you that all women are real. By the very nature of being a woman they are a real woman. Regardless of what they look like. I don't particularly like that meme about the 'real women have curves', and I, too, think it should just go away already. Real women are real women. I'm 100% behind you on it.

What I'm saying is that if Lane Bryant called it "Smart Women Dollars" would that imply that women who do not shop at their store are not smart? To me it doesn't.

I just don't connect the Lane Bryant "Real Women Dollars" to anything else.

It's not "Real Women Have Curves Dollars".

It's more like "Yep, we're plus-sized, but we're real women, too! Dollars."

So, I can see, and agree that when seeing it as "Real Women Have Curves" it would be offensive and obnoxious. However, since I have for the past however many years that they've had Real Women Dollars read it as the "We're Real Women, too!", I do not find it offensive.

theox
02-10-2012, 08:46 PM
It's just an advertising gimmick, it does make you talk about Lane Bryant, after all.

^Yup.

bandit bear
02-10-2012, 08:49 PM
Seriously? I would be very surprised if there were one. single. thin. woman. in the entire world who were, like, hurt or offended because Lane Bryant didn't consider her part of its marketing demographic. I think "less than" is in the eye of the beholder, and somebody who wants to be offended can always find something about which to be offended if she wants to. I also think it's perfectly okay for Lane Bryant to concentrate on celebrating its plus-sized clientele and leave it to others to celebrate the thin, 5'9" supermodels.

Well, I have a friend who is thin, has no curves, and she's hurt and offended by the whole "real women have curves" idea because she says it makes her feel less of a woman. She said it makes her feel childlike and like a little girl. Another friend of mine who used to be in the demographic of Lane Bryant is similarly offended. And yes, there is such a thing as "skinny shaming" which is in the same family as "fat shaming" and it's a very real thing meant to make thin women feel bad about their bodies, similar to how fat shaming is designed to make fat women feel bad about their bodies.

It's not that Lane Bryant isn't considering them a part of their demographic. It's that the idea of a "real woman" is alienating when a plus-sized retailer is marketing themselves as a company for "real women." By saying that plus-sized women are "real", it's implying that thin women are "fake."

What it is is a microaggression.

http://girliegirlarmy.com/lifestyle/20120120/the-problem-with-skinny-bashing/

http://girliegirlarmy.com/lifestyle/20120130/body-bashing-5-ways-to-fix-it/

Lane Bryant can focus on making their clients feel great about their bodies in a way that it doesn't make other non-plus-sized women feel cruddy about their bodies. That's my point.

Candeka
02-10-2012, 08:55 PM
About the whole "Real women have curves things"... I HATE that. I have child bearing hips, so I will NEVER be a size 6. However, I have FAT on me. I will never use the "I'm just curvy" excuse. If most women lost weight, chances are they would not be curvy as many women are not hour glass shaped. Beyonce is what a curvy woman looks like.

bandit bear
02-10-2012, 09:00 PM
I don't think Lovey missed the point at all, and in fact clarified it very well. Lane Bryant is no more saying "only plus sized women and no other women" are "real" any more than or less than other advertisers suggest (or even outrightly state) that only their customers are good and perfect.

Considering all the years that the generally-accepted standard of beauty has been not just implicitly, but explicitly telling plus-sized women "you are ugly, you don't belong, you aren't real, you aren't legitimate, you aren't deserving of notice..." it's ironic that a anyone (whether Lane Bryant or FA activists) saying "fat women are... (real, beautiful...)" are accused of IMPLYING (not stating) that other women aren't (and yet where was the outrage when fat women were excluded from the beauty, legitimacy pool).

If I say to other large women "We are real women," and even "Real women have curves," it is unfair to accuse me of saying that women without curves are not real. At least no more fair than it is to be ok with all of the other exclusionary practices in society.

And the argument for advertisers is even a broader reach. If you interpreted toothpaste and cologne ads literally, you'd have to argue that they're promoting sexual assault and mind control... Are you really telling me that spraying Axe cologne on some nerdy, adolescent is going to make beautiful, young, blondes sexually assault the boy - and who is the victim here. The adolescent boy who is being sexually assaulted, or the buxome blonde who is apparently under the influence of a substance more powerful than Rohypnol, the date-rape drug.

Advertising is about hyperbole. Victoria Secret models are not literally angels, and their underwear isn't meant only for women with the perfect bodies of the models (though the implication certainly is such that the lingerie will look as good on an average woman).

In fact, religious folks could just as legitimately be offended by the VS ads - by the ads implication regarding angels. Or others could be just as incensed by the apparent "implications" that only "perfect" supermodels are worthy of wearing VS lingerie.

Advertising in our culture is about exageration and hyperbole. If we're going to target Lane Bryant for encouraging plus-size women to feel real and legitimate (and assume that they by implication are saying "other women aren't real and legitimate). then we have to also target the much more common practice of the the larger segment of society and the fashion industry not just implying, but actually often STATING that less-perfect women aren't worthy or welcome).

It often seems that it's genereally seen as perfectly ok to exclude less popular segments of society, but when the unpopular segments develop their own subculture that excludes the popular segment, then the apparent hypocricy is seen (but only in the hypocricy of the subculture, not that of the mainstream culture).

The fashion industry as a whole (at least the industry of high-fashion) would have us believe that the only real women (because the only ones ever allowed to be seen) are super tall, super thin, usually super pale, adolescents.

And while Lane Bryant catalogs don't display the full diversity of their customer base, they diversity is at least a little wider than the rest of the fashion industry.

To judge Lane Bryant without judging the fashion industry and the advertising industry as a whole by the same standards, seems unfairly arbitrary.

Successful advertisers often not only imply, they often explicitly state that "only our customers are..... (real, smart, beautiful, legitimate, sexy, healthy.... in other words whatever image they're trying to sell to)."

If we're going to bring down Lane Bryant on this point, then we should also "bring down" the entire fashion industry as well as the cosmetic and personal hygiene companies.

And just because fat women have been fat shamed for years and years doesn't make it OK to turn the tables and shame thin women for their bodies. Two wrongs don't make a right.

And this has nothing specific to do with the fashion industry either. It has something to do with society in general, since we see this idea in multiple areas, not just fashion. Dove is guilty of this too.

I'm not saying that it's intentional. Often, microaggressions are unintentional, but they are microaggressions nonetheless. You might not intend to hurt thin women when you say "real women have curves" but when a thin women without curves hears that, she's going to feel invalidated.

And the whole Victoria's Secret Angel argument is derailing and irrelevant. We're not talking about that here or religion. I'm also not referring specifically to advertising. I'm talking about an idea that keeps being perpetuated by our society in recent years. And yes, advertising is a part of it and perpetuates it.

My concern is about feminism, and embracing women of all sizes without making anyone feel less than.

bandit bear
02-10-2012, 10:09 PM
I'm not.

I quite agree with you that all women are real. By the very nature of being a woman they are a real woman. Regardless of what they look like. I don't particularly like that meme about the 'real women have curves', and I, too, think it should just go away already. Real women are real women. I'm 100% behind you on it.

What I'm saying is that if Lane Bryant called it "Smart Women Dollars" would that imply that women who do not shop at their store are not smart? To me it doesn't.

I just don't connect the Lane Bryant "Real Women Dollars" to anything else.

It's not "Real Women Have Curves Dollars".

It's more like "Yep, we're plus-sized, but we're real women, too! Dollars."

So, I can see, and agree that when seeing it as "Real Women Have Curves" it would be offensive and obnoxious. However, since I have for the past however many years that they've had Real Women Dollars read it as the "We're Real Women, too!", I do not find it offensive.

But its the REAL woman thing specifically. No, they don't call it "real women have curves" dollars.

And if you think about it, it also erases trans* women as well. Because they are not seen as "real" women by society. What about men who wear women's clothing who shop there?

Why not just call it Lane Bryant cash? Like Kohl's Cash?

I know there are people who are going to say that I'm overanalyzing but if we don't point things like this out, things aren't going to change. People won't be aware.

98DaysOfSummer
02-10-2012, 10:35 PM
Real Women Have Curves is a response to the fact that fat women are pretty much ignored in advertising, unless it's shame based. Complaining that a store which sells PLUS SIZED CLOTHES isn't catering to the egos of all women everywhere is silly. It's like middle aged white guys who whine about Black Entertainment Television - why can't there be a White Entertainment Television? Because pretty much all TV is white tv. Well pretty much ALL ads are thin positive or fat bashing.

One store can't be all things to all people. All they can do is try to sell to their demographic and if they try to do that by lifting them up and not pounding them down with fear and shame and that's somehow a threat to thin women who can shop in the 99.99999% of other stores that are JUST FOR THEM then maybe those women should get a grip. Welcome to the world not being just about you. Let fat women have one little corner of it, please.

I realize when everything in the world has been about you (general you, thin you) or about selling you (general you, fat you) the idea that one day if you're lucky, good, and hardworking you can be part of the blessedly thin, it can feel a little loopy when suddenly the switch is flipped and it's ok for fat women to feel alright about themselves but honestly, let a fat girl have one tiny fat positive corner of the universe.

It's funny how no one even notices the fat bashing and fat marginalizing that goes on in every single moment of every single day (will I fit in this booth, will they have shoes wide enough to fit me, is the gyn going to turn me away because they don't have the instruments they need for plus sized women and will they even have a gown to cover my fat ***?) but let one store insinuate that SOME women might be fat and that's ok, and oh no! It's thin bashing and that's not fair!

nelie
02-10-2012, 11:00 PM
I can get why it might rub some people the wrong way but what if they were called "beautiful women dollars" or "sexy women dollars", would they be thought of in the same way?

I think of it in a similar way as Lovely but I grew up obese so part of my struggle dealt with defining myself as a woman when I felt so 'unwomanly'. So, to me, saying real women dollars is like saying 'we are real women too', not 'we are the only real women'.

98DaysOfSummer
02-10-2012, 11:03 PM
I can get why it might rub some people the wrong way but what if they were called "beautiful women dollars" or "sexy women dollars", would they be thought of in the same way?

I think of it in a similar way as Lovely but I grew up obese so part of my struggle dealt with defining myself as a woman when I felt so 'unwomanly'. So, to me, saying real women dollars is like saying 'we are real women too', not 'we are the only real women'.

:carrot: yes, exactly :carrot:

Lovely
02-10-2012, 11:23 PM
And if you think about it, it also erases trans* women as well. Because they are not seen as "real" women by society.

I don't think that it does. They're women. They're real. That makes them real women. To me that means it's inclusive.

What about men who wear women's clothing who shop there?

As for men who happen to wear women's clothing, specifically Lane Bryant clothing: Lane Bryant is a woman's clothing store. They cater to women. That doesn't stop men from shopping there, but the target of Lane Bryant's advertising is women.

By the same token, if I enjoyed shopping at Men's Warehouse, and they had promotional rewards called "Real Men Cash" it wouldn't phase me. If I'm a woman who enjoys wearing men's suits, the discount still applies to me. The focus of their advertising is still going to be men.

Why not just call it Lane Bryant cash? Like Kohl's Cash?

I don't know. Why don't they call Kohl's Cash "Smart Shopper Dollars"? For whatever reason, the marketing department thought "Real Women Dollars" sounded better. They probably saw it as many of their customers see it, as a fairly innocuous statement.

MissGuided
02-11-2012, 01:12 AM
It often seems that it's genereally seen as perfectly ok to exclude less popular segments of society, but when the unpopular segments develop their own subculture that excludes the popular segment, then the apparent hypocricy is seen (but only in the hypocricy of the subculture, not that of the mainstream culture).

To judge Lane Bryant without judging the fashion industry and the advertising industry as a whole by the same standards, seems unfairly arbitrary.


This.

We don't know their intentions by creating this slogan.
I do not find it offensive. Then again, I am a plus size woman who knows the struggle with being accepted by society.

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 01:24 AM
I can get why it might rub some people the wrong way but what if they were called "beautiful women dollars" or "sexy women dollars", would they be thought of in the same way?

I think of it in a similar way as Lovely but I grew up obese so part of my struggle dealt with defining myself as a woman when I felt so 'unwomanly'. So, to me, saying real women dollars is like saying 'we are real women too', not 'we are the only real women'.

Why not leave it out altogether? Why not just call it "Lane Bryant Cash"?

I should be more clear: I don't have anything against Lane Bryant, what I have a problem with is this idea of "real women."

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 01:30 AM
I don't think that it does. They're women. They're real. That makes them real women. To me that means it's inclusive.

And you're in the minority. You don't think it doesn't, but honestly, you can't say the same for a trans* woman. You saying that it's inclusive is one thing, but my point is that this whole idea of "real women" isn't inclusive and needs to go away.



As for men who happen to wear women's clothing, specifically Lane Bryant clothing: Lane Bryant is a woman's clothing store. They cater to women. That doesn't stop men from shopping there, but the target of Lane Bryant's advertising is women.

By the same token, if I enjoyed shopping at Men's Warehouse, and they had promotional rewards called "Real Men Cash" it wouldn't phase me. If I'm a woman who enjoys wearing men's suits, the discount still applies to me. The focus of their advertising is still going to be men.

Ok then, that's you. You're welcome to feel that way, but don't tell others how to feel. it invalidates them.

I don't know. Why don't they call Kohl's Cash "Smart Shopper Dollars"? For whatever reason, the marketing department thought "Real Women Dollars" sounded better. They probably saw it as many of their customers see it, as a fairly innocuous statement.

Because "Smart Shopper Dollars" sounds stupid.

It doesn't matter what the Lane Bryant marketing department thinks or thought when they decided to call their store credit cashback program. It doesn't matter if they thought it sounded good, or that it was catchy. It doesn't matter if it was unintentional or not. It's erasing a certain demographic women, and I'm saying that it's not cool and that it needs to go away, in all mediums, and in all marketing and advertising, and in people's attempts at making women who aren't thin feel better.

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 01:43 AM
This.

We don't know their intentions by creating this slogan.
I do not find it offensive. Then again, I am a plus size woman who knows the struggle with being accepted by society.

And I keep saying, it doesn't matter what their intentions are. They could have the most innocent of intentions. Unintentionally or ignorantly saying or doing something totally racist doesn't excuse or forgive that it's racist. it's still racist.

In fact, I don't believe that they intentionally wanted to make thin women feel bad about their bodies, but the fact remains, that this "real women" idea makes women feel bad about their bodies.

My point wasn't to criticize Lane Bryant, my point was to say that the "real women" idea needs to go away, something i mentioned in my first post.

MissGuided
02-11-2012, 01:59 AM
Would it still have been an issue if a small size clothing store used the same slogan? Just curious if it is the slogan in general that upsets you or if it is because you feel it is being implied that only plus size women are real women.

It's almost as if I couldn't 'Be All That I Can Be' in the Marines rather than the Army, because that's simply what the Army is implying, right?

nelie
02-11-2012, 08:44 AM
Why not leave it out altogether? Why not just call it "Lane Bryant Cash"?

I should be more clear: I don't have anything against Lane Bryant, what I have a problem with is this idea of "real women."

And you missed my point. The point being well part of it is just silly marketing. The other part is that obese women are often degenerated in society. A women's store who caters to obese women wanted to add some self esteem boosting to their marketing. They could've used sexy, beautiful, etc. Would your reaction be the same? Would you feel those excluded non-obese women and would indicate that you have to be obese to be sexy? Or beautiful?

I personally don't think their "real women" dollars are trying to make a statement about society and women who aren't size 14+ and I don't view them as exclusionary.

I know there has been a lot of swirl lately, especially on Facebook about comparing thin women to slightly chunkier women. And again Lane Bryant has had this marketing for nearly a decade. It was never about comparing their clients with those that weren't. And I know the Facebook stuff was comparing curvy women who would still be way too small for Lane Bryant's clothes. It is a shame that someone decided it was cool to try to say someone wasn't a real woman based on their size/shape/figure but I view that as a totally different issue than LB's marketing.

EZMONEY
02-11-2012, 08:55 AM
My $.02 worth...

I have dated, had relationships and married...

short, tall, thin, chunky, big boobed, small boobed, big and small butted, athletic and not so athletic women....

each and every one was what this guy would call...

a real woman :)

Lovely
02-11-2012, 09:03 AM
It doesn't matter what the Lane Bryant marketing department thinks or thought when they decided to call their store credit cashback program. It doesn't matter if they thought it sounded good, or that it was catchy. It doesn't matter if it was unintentional or not. It's erasing a certain demographic women, and I'm saying that it's not cool and that it needs to go away, in all mediums, and in all marketing and advertising, and in people's attempts at making women who aren't thin feel better.

I think that while we'll definitely continue to agree that the "real women have curves" saying/meme is exclusionary, and only serves to further diminish all women by telling everyone what they should look like, we'll have to simply disagree about Lane Bryant's reward dollars.

Their reward system is not connected to the meme. It no more says that women who don't shop at Lane Bryant aren't real in the same way that Victoria Secret having a "Sexy Women Dollars" would imply that women who can't or don't shop at Victoria Secret aren't sexy.

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 12:25 PM
Would it still have been an issue if a small size clothing store used the same slogan? Just curious if it is the slogan in general that upsets you or if it is because you feel it is being implied that only plus size women are real women.

It's almost as if I couldn't 'Be All That I Can Be' in the Marines rather than the Army, because that's simply what the Army is implying, right?


Of course. Like I keep repeating, over and over again, this whole idea of a "real woman" needs to go away. Dove did it too and was criticized for it.

Did anyone read the links I gave? :?::?:

98DaysOfSummer
02-11-2012, 12:31 PM
I read them, I just think you're wrong.

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 12:33 PM
And you missed my point. The point being well part of it is just silly marketing. The other part is that obese women are often degenerated in society. A women's store who caters to obese women wanted to add some self esteem boosting to their marketing. They could've used sexy, beautiful, etc. Would your reaction be the same? Would you feel those excluded non-obese women and would indicate that you have to be obese to be sexy? Or beautiful?

I personally don't think their "real women" dollars are trying to make a statement about society and women who aren't size 14+ and I don't view them as exclusionary.

I know there has been a lot of swirl lately, especially on Facebook about comparing thin women to slightly chunkier women. And again Lane Bryant has had this marketing for nearly a decade. It was never about comparing their clients with those that weren't. And I know the Facebook stuff was comparing curvy women who would still be way too small for Lane Bryant's clothes. It is a shame that someone decided it was cool to try to say someone wasn't a real woman based on their size/shape/figure but I view that as a totally different issue than LB's marketing.

You still aren't focusing on what I was saying. All you're focusing on is the marketing aspect of it and only on Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant isn't the whole issue here. I'm talking broader, societal means (which I mentioned in my very first post).

What I am trying to say is that it's not about the fact that obese women are degenerated in society, it's that thin women are being degenerated themselves in an attempt to make plus-sized women feel better about their bodies. Whether you believe it or not, this whole concept of a "real woman" and "real women have curves" meme is hurtful to women who don't fall into that body image. And yes, thin women are hurt and feel erased by this idea.

Why is that such a difficult concept for everyone to grasp?

Stop focusing on Lane Bryant's intentions. Like I keep repeating, it doesn't matter what their intentions are. It doesn't matter what their marketing is. It doesn't matter that they want plus-sized women to feel better. What I am saying is that them using "real women dollars" is CONTRIBUTING to this problem of the idea of a "real woman."

Please read the articles that I linked to on the first page. I posted them for a reason.

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 12:38 PM
I think that while we'll definitely continue to agree that the "real women have curves" saying/meme is exclusionary, and only serves to further diminish all women by telling everyone what they should look like, we'll have to simply disagree about Lane Bryant's reward dollars.

Their reward system is not connected to the meme. It no more says that women who don't shop at Lane Bryant aren't real in the same way that Victoria Secret having a "Sexy Women Dollars" would imply that women who can't or don't shop at Victoria Secret aren't sexy.

But you can't say that the issue about "real women have curves" is exclusionary (which it is) and then not agree that Lane Bryant using the phrase "real women" and being a PLUS-SIZED store is contributing. It is. Whether or not you agree, it is. It might not be directly connected to this meme, but it contributes by calling their customers, who are plus-sized, "real women." They aren't directly saying it, but it's implying it. And like I keep repeating, it doesn't matter what their intentions are. Its STILL implying it, regardless if they had innocent intentions or not. That's why it needs to go away in ALL forms. You simply can't have it both ways.

And Victoria's Secret doesn't have "Sexy Woman Dollars" so that's irrelevant. And it's also not a part of the idea of a "real woman". So please stop bringing up other stores and their non-existent marketing gimmicks because it's not about that. I've already said multiple times what it's about.

MissGuided
02-11-2012, 12:48 PM
I agree that society has this set image of what is considered to be a "real woman" and there should be no classification.

I think the insecurities of women will always be there regardless of a simple slogan a clothing store decides to use.

Where thin women are hurt by the now accepted meme of 'real women have curves' there are plenty of obese women still bothered by the fact that they need to look super model status to be accepted.

Just the simple reality of it.

nelie
02-11-2012, 12:51 PM
I think we will have to agree to disagree. I agree that 'real women have curves' is hurtful and should be eliminated. I don't think that Lane Bryant's "Real Women" dollars has anything to do with it. I don't think they are implying it with the marketing ploy. It is odd that you find the issue with a store just because it is plus sized. If it wasn't a plus sized store, it seems like you wouldn't have an issue with it.

I've seen other similar marketing ploys like "where smart shoppers shop" or similar. Victoria Secret does have coupons that indicate their shoppers are sexy but that doesn't mean that those that don't shop there aren't sexy.

As I said, I don't believe it is them indicating that their clientele are the only real women or that plus sized women are the only real women. It seems like the whole issue has blown up after LB came out with the marketing and you expect them to change due to what other people have said and done. We can agree to disagree though.

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 01:05 PM
I think we will have to agree to disagree. I agree that 'real women have curves' is hurtful and should be eliminated. I don't think that Lane Bryant's "Real Women" dollars has anything to do with it. I don't think they are implying it with the marketing ploy. It is odd that you find the issue with a store just because it is plus sized. If it wasn't a plus sized store, it seems like you wouldn't have an issue with it.

I don't know how many times I have to repeat myself, but like I keep saying over and over again, this concept of a "real woman" needs to go away entirely. Yes, even with Lane Bryant's marketing of their savings program. I just get the feeling you aren't reading my posts and it's getting frustrating.

I've seen other similar marketing ploys like "where smart shoppers shop" or similar. Victoria Secret does have coupons that indicate their shoppers are sexy but that doesn't mean that those that don't shop there aren't sexy.

Ok, so you haven't been reading my posts. :-/

As I said, I don't believe it is them indicating that their clientele are the only real women or that plus sized women are the only real women. It seems like the whole issue has blown up after LB came out with the marketing and you expect them to change due to what other people have said and done. We can agree to disagree though.

Now you REALLY haven't been reading my posts.

What a disappointment.

I try to start a dialogue about erasing language from our society that degrades women and used an *example* and everyone focuses on that tiny aspect and doesn't listen to a word I say about anything else.

*sigh*

mandalinn82
02-11-2012, 01:08 PM
Victoria Secret having a "Sexy Women Dollars" would imply that women who can't or don't shop at Victoria Secret aren't sexy.

That would bother me, too. Mostly because their size range is so narrow, and they have always been SO rude to me when I tried to shop while heavier. But I digress.

I have always hated "Real Women Have Curves", because even when I was heavy I had no curves. I didn't get any chest to speak of until I got pregnant (and by "to speak of", I mean above a B cup). Some real women don't have boobs and butts!

I do think that "Real Women Dollars" deliberately exploits the "Real Women Have Curves" language, and that the original saying is exclusionary and implies those without curves AREN'T real women. BUT, to most of Lane Bryant's demographic, the phrase draws them in by answering to insecurities that heavy women aren't "real" women (those insecurities having been formed from a lifetime of advertisements that imply, subtly or directly, that heavier women aren't sexy/real/attractive/etc). That it turned ME off a bit, being a relatively small part of their demographic (plus size, curveless girls), is irrelevant, because it was overall effective to their core customer base. And in advertising, it's about pleasing your demographic.

A WHOLE LOT of advertising, unfortunately, exploits stereotypes, overgeneralizations, and jokes made in poor taste. But such advertising isn't going anywhere, because it works in the demographic it is targeted toward. Speaking to your demographic is a key part of marketing 101, and Lane Bryant isn't alone in doing so (and frankly, is a little LESS offensive than some other players in the field).

While it would be great if the whole "Real Women Have Curves" thing could go away entirely, it's not likely to happen. And there are lots of other objectionable things out there I'd like to see go that way as well. As long as they're effective advertising, they're likely to stick around.

nelie
02-11-2012, 01:27 PM
It has been so long since I first saw Real Women dollars, I can't even remember what their initial marketing for it was but even on their site, they show a regular, slightly plus-sized model in somewhat boxy clothing. I was also not a very curvy plus size women and also wore a B cup.

I think we should celebrate every women and we shouldn't compare one to another saying one is better than the other. I just personally don't see it in the LB campaign.

Candeka
02-11-2012, 01:45 PM
I think one thing that a lot of bigger woman don't realize is that thin women hate their bodies too. A lot of "thin" women think that their hips are to square, the bums are to small, their breasts are not big enough. When you add in ANYTHING to do with "real women" when it comes to either being bigger or being curvy, those women will hate their bodies more. Just because someone is thin does not make them have a super model body that they love.

The whole "Real Woman Dollars" does play into the "Real women have curves" thing in my mind. To me, it is trying to boost the self-esteem of bigger women which of course was probably invented with good intentions. However, I know so many thin women TRY to gain weight in order to become curvy but just can't. It was mentioned in this forum that bigger women have trouble feeling girly and feel "unwomenly".... Girls with very small breasts, boy hips and no butt feel the exact same way. They want to look like the curvacious super models as well!

So to sum up what I just blabbed about, calling anything "real women" that leaves out half of the woman population is horrible. "Real women dollars" in a plus size store is discriminating against small women. "Real women dollars" in a regular store would be seen as rude towards plus sized women. It just needs to disappear all together because it will always be insulting. There are thousands of other words that could be used for their dollar names.

bargoo
02-11-2012, 01:52 PM
BanditBear seems angry that we that have read her post , haven't read the entire post, don't understand her post, or don't agree with her opinion.
BanditBear, that's life, we are all entitled to our opininions and should respect others even if we don't agree.

Blueberries
02-11-2012, 03:16 PM
For what it's worth, I worked at LB in 1999, and we had them then. So it's been at least 13 years that they've been using this promotion, and likely several more than that.

I've always taken it to mean, "I might be plus-sized, but I'm a real woman, too."

Nadya
02-11-2012, 04:25 PM
Even if people don't agree with the OP, the point has still been made - the name they have chosen for this particular program has created confusion. It's not called "We Are Real Women, Too!" It's called "Real Women Dollars". Who shops at Lane Bryant? Larger women. Who is this being marketed to? Larger women. Who doesn't shop here or benefit from this program? Smaller women. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was intended when this name was chosen just as it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what 2 plus 2 is.

BTW, the OP isn't the only one saying it: http://www.teenagerie.com/2010/09/thin-women-not-real-women-says-lane.html

What I do not understand though, is why in supporting one body type our culture feels it necessary to degrade another. Real women dollars? What about lacking curves fails to make me legitimately female? Shouldn't a woman be allowed to be "womanly" regardless of her body type?


In 2010, Lane Bryant criticized Fox and ABC for running a racy Victoria's Secret commercial while censoring a Lane Bryant ad. They responded by creating their own Victoria's Secret ad poking fun at the thinner models. It wasn't Victoria's Secret that censored the ads though so it wasn't really fair. What if VS had responded by poking fun at LB's bigger models? Having said that, again, why is it such a stretch to think that Lane Bryant's slogan might not be 100% fair given how larger women are generally treated anyways? What about Lane Bryant is inherently easier to trust than any other big name company? Because they support a demographic that has, up until recently, been overlooked? Almost everyone has an agenda...

Also, research is good…this is what was said in response to the 2010 censorship mentioned above.

"We produced a stunning commercial that celebrated the beauty of curvy women and proved that sexy doesn't have a size," says Jay Dunn, Vice President of Marketing for Lane Bryant. "Lane Bryant was able to successfully give a voice to real women. In return, women everywhere threw the networks - and the world - a curve with their overwhelming reaction to our protest."


How you use your words is important. Even when you're just attempting to make a public service announcement you gotta watch.

CherryQuinn
02-11-2012, 04:42 PM
i think this links to the increased amount of 'skinny-shaming' that ive seen going around lately on the internet and in real life. Usually its started by women making pictures of marilyn monroe type women and than showing like nicole ritchie and saying monroe is hotter than ritchie or whoever they use it doesn't matter. its basically all saying that if you don't have a specific body shape, you're not beautiful, you're not a real woman, and you're not sexually attractive to the opposite sex. my friend does this in real life. we are both on a 'lifestyle' change but im the only one whose stayed on it, so now i guess because she feels bad for not having lost, but having actually gained weight, shes attacking me saying guys have told her personally they don't like skinny women and that my bf will leave me if I get to my ultimate goal weight of 125-135lbs. I tell her well if he does then he never really loved me and I deserve better anyways and I'm sure I will find someone that appreciates me for something other than my dress size. Its like there is a retaliation and jealousy on the go against smaller women or any woman who isn't 200+ lbs. I think its a lot of jealousy to be honest. Like " Hey we can't have that girls body shape so instead of trying to be healthier OR accepting that we are beautiful as we are, we are instead going to make that girl feel ugly and make men think theres something wrong with her , this way I get all the love and attention". Its childish and very highschool. Thats what I feel is going on anyways. Just my opinion.

nelie
02-11-2012, 04:45 PM
So they are saying sexy doesn't have a size. Again, I think the use of real women there is more of the average woman rather than the image of women that is shown in media that represents a very small minority of women (tall, thin, big breasted and plump butt or thin all around).

Lane Bryant isn't an innocent party because they have been criticized for using models that are too small to fit in their clothes. Most plus sized models fall in the size 8-12 range.

Should we say that thin models don't represent real women? No, not at all but we can call for more realistic representation in fashion of the average woman in various facets, not just size. I read not too long ago that one of the hottest high fashion models (for women's clothes) is actually a guy. He is tall and has the straight hips and straight chest that the designers have been going towards. Now kudos to him but should our ideal for women be someone who doesn't have the estrogen in their body depositing fat on their chests and hips?

runningfromfat
02-11-2012, 07:13 PM
I'm catching up with this thread after not checking 3FC so sorry if this was answered in the comments already, but..



Well, that would be kind of impossible and unrealistic (and impractical and expensive, hiring all of those women to model the same outfit) considering how many different body types there are out there. I see your point, but the best way to judge if something looks good on you is to go to the store and try it on, and don't even pay attention to how it looks on the model, because honestly, no matter what, it's still going to look different on her because of tucking, pinning, lighting, styling, etc.

I work at Macy's and I've noticed in the Eileen Fisher merchandising catalogue that we get that the clothes on the mannequins (headless and pretty much shapeless) look entirely different than what we get in shipment and how they look on people. Why? They pin back the clothes. One top in particular looked like it was cut pretty slim, a cute grey and white striped top, but in the store, it's boxy. it no way looks like it does in the catalogue and i thought it was a different top.

Actually, I know of two companies at least that do this. Both Polish companies (Ewa Michalak (http://www.ewa-michalak.pl/) and BiuBiu) that hire at least two models (with very difference body shapes) to model on their same clothes/bras. One of them, BiuBiu (http://biubiu.pl/), even set up a blog so women can submit pictures of themselves in their outfits and you can search by the size. I know modcloth (http://www.modcloth.com/) allows shoppers to post pictures of themselves on their website so you can see the garment on different body types too. So totally possible. ;)

As I've gotten older I've really worked towards putting my money where my mouth is. I try now to shop at stores where I agree with there clothing philosophy, like the sizes that they offer, listen to their customers etc. Both those companies do that well and get my business (and I recommend them to friends and on my blog because of it).

Nadya
02-11-2012, 07:29 PM
i think this links to the increased amount of 'skinny-shaming' that ive seen going around lately on the internet and in real life.

I agree with this.

I think what needs to be understood here is that the term "real" is being attached to women who shop at this store. The ads aren't targeting everyone, they are targeting their key demographic - larger women. Now, if they were a store that sold clothes for everyone regardless of their size, shape, height, etc. then no one would even comment. The term "real", in that case, would be applicable to everyone who is able to shop there - which would be anyone and everyone. What is important is who are they actually marketing to? Because these ads aren't made to apply directly to people outside that market, they have no reason to target them, they're out to make a profit, that's how businesses work. When you start a marketing campaign, you do your best to appeal to your target audience and what would appeal here? Elevating larger women to a higher status. As you said char, it's a trend. I visit another forum and they have a section for "curvy" women. I'd say well over half of its members are actually obese, some are even morbidly obese. They're nice women, I have no problem with them...but one day, someone posted a link to some vintage weight gain ads. The general reaction was, "See, men used to love women like us!" None of the women in these ads were overweight though. Not a one. Somewhere along the line, we went from shaming obesity (which was cruel) to supporting it (which is unhealthy).

And as I quoted in my last post...

"We produced a stunning commercial that celebrated the beauty of curvy women and proved that sexy doesn't have a size," says Jay Dunn, Vice President of Marketing for Lane Bryant. "Lane Bryant was able to successfully give a voice to real women. In return, women everywhere threw the networks - and the world - a curve with their overwhelming reaction to our protest."



On that note, you know who I think is under-represented? We petite people. :p

kaplods
02-11-2012, 08:25 PM
I think one of the reasons so many of us don't see this as a serious problem of "unfair exclusion" is because of the multitude of far more serious examples that are overlooked or accepted in our society.

It's almost like being asked to get up in arms over insults being hurled - on the battlefield. Really? With all the bloodshed, torture, and mutilation whirling around us, we're supposed to get upset over a little petty insulting and face slapping?

I'm a big girl, in many senses of the word, and I can handle the name calling and the face slapping, just please refrain from plunging the dagger into my chest, thank you.

Of course I'm speaking metaphorically here, but even so - the "real women" idea isn't nice, but it's one of the more benign social stereotypes. Let's work on the really big issues before we start nit-picking.

There's so much to be offended about in our culture, that one can be enraged 24/7 - we need to do some triage here and identify the worst offenders and what we can do about it.

Lane Bryant is a very small fish in a very big pond. Far more damage is being done to far more women and their self- and body- images by much more ingrained aspects of our culture. The advertising/fashion/diet/personal hygeine product/entertainment/cosmetic and/cosmetic surgery industries as a whole do far worse.

Picking our battles isn't easy, especially when the problem is so pervasive. Take for example, the Axe cologne commercials that imply that in order to attract women, geeky looking guys have to drug them (and apparently only supermodels are apparently worth attracting).

Offensive? or Funny?

I find it offensive. I find many of the commercials and television shows offensive. For example a "pro-exercise" commercial in which a child asks her mother for a dollar and the mother sends the girl hunting all over the house for the mom's wallet (which is sitting right beside mom) in order to get the girl some exercise. Another (not quite, but nearly as offensive) has a mother turning off the power so her children will go outside and play.

What does that imply? That you have to trick your children into exercise - and that you don't need it yourself? What about taking a walk or bike ride with the child?

On principle, I have very little respect for advertising, and less and less respect for the entertainment (at least television) industry as a whole. Virtually all of the unscripted "reality" show television makes me ill, because most of them showcase people being incredibly hurtful and exclusionary to others, all in the name of "entertainment." Because the shows stay on, and get worse every season, it shows just how much people love watching other people being mistreated.

We still are the same creatures who built the collosseums to watch criminals being executed and gladiators fighting to the death for our amusement. We may prefer our violence a little cleaner today (and more often simulated), but the impulse to judge, exclude, and even harm others is still alive and well - some expressions of the impulse are just more socially acceptable than others.

The Lane Bryant ad is just such a weak example of the negative impulses in humanity and in our own culture, that it's hard to get too worked up over it - not when much more extreme examples of racism, sexism, beautyism and elitism are all so alive and well in every aspect of our society.

Nadya
02-11-2012, 09:35 PM
I wouldn't say that I'm worked up over it but I don't believe it came from a purely good place. It would be nice if we could believe that a marketing campaign could be "pure" but when you get right down to it, it's a business's job to make money so whatever works is what companies will typically go with. And the "curvy" versus "skinny" battle is a stupid one for many reasons.

Personally, I have a much bigger problem with supporting unhealthy habits in general.

98DaysOfSummer
02-11-2012, 09:40 PM
Of course it's not from a purely good place - it's advertising, it's meant to sell. Advertising can get you in a few ways and most of those ways play on some insecurity or another. LB has managed to hit on one that is both a reaction to and the exploitation of the message that large women don't count. Very clever on their part but I'm not dumb enough to think LB isn't worried about the bottom line more than my peace of mind.

At the same time, I can not see how "real women has curves" logically implies, "and the rest of you are a bunch of fakes."

There's a thread here right now where someone is talking about having the best husband. I'm not going to get upset that she MUST be insinuating that mine is, at best, second best.

Nadya
02-11-2012, 09:47 PM
Of course it's not from a purely good place - it's advertising, it's meant to sell.

Which is precisely what I have been saying.

On one hand, you could assume the best and say, "Oh, it's just a misunderstanding!"

Or you could say hey...this is advertising...do I really believe they didn't put any thought into this?

Smiling_Sara
02-11-2012, 09:55 PM
I'm not.

I quite agree with you that all women are real. By the very nature of being a woman they are a real woman. Regardless of what they look like. I don't particularly like that meme about the 'real women have curves', and I, too, think it should just go away already. Real women are real women. I'm 100% behind you on it.

What I'm saying is that if Lane Bryant called it "Smart Women Dollars" would that imply that women who do not shop at their store are not smart? To me it doesn't.

I just don't connect the Lane Bryant "Real Women Dollars" to anything else.

It's not "Real Women Have Curves Dollars".

It's more like "Yep, we're plus-sized, but we're real women, too! Dollars."

So, I can see, and agree that when seeing it as "Real Women Have Curves" it would be offensive and obnoxious. However, since I have for the past however many years that they've had Real Women Dollars read it as the "We're Real Women, too!", I do not find it offensive.



This.....so much this.

I think as a culture ( although it has been getting better, I think ) plus size women are looked down upon, and this is their way of saying, plus size women are women too. I mean look around, we have what, 3, maybe 4 stores that a plus size women can go to at any given mall, where women under a size 14 or 12, have.....oh, i don't know, 30, easily?

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 11:03 PM
That would bother me, too. Mostly because their size range is so narrow, and they have always been SO rude to me when I tried to shop while heavier. But I digress.

I have always hated "Real Women Have Curves", because even when I was heavy I had no curves. I didn't get any chest to speak of until I got pregnant (and by "to speak of", I mean above a B cup). Some real women don't have boobs and butts!

I do think that "Real Women Dollars" deliberately exploits the "Real Women Have Curves" language, and that the original saying is exclusionary and implies those without curves AREN'T real women. BUT, to most of Lane Bryant's demographic, the phrase draws them in by answering to insecurities that heavy women aren't "real" women (those insecurities having been formed from a lifetime of advertisements that imply, subtly or directly, that heavier women aren't sexy/real/attractive/etc). That it turned ME off a bit, being a relatively small part of their demographic (plus size, curveless girls), is irrelevant, because it was overall effective to their core customer base. And in advertising, it's about pleasing your demographic.

A WHOLE LOT of advertising, unfortunately, exploits stereotypes, overgeneralizations, and jokes made in poor taste. But such advertising isn't going anywhere, because it works in the demographic it is targeted toward. Speaking to your demographic is a key part of marketing 101, and Lane Bryant isn't alone in doing so (and frankly, is a little LESS offensive than some other players in the field).

While it would be great if the whole "Real Women Have Curves" thing could go away entirely, it's not likely to happen. And there are lots of other objectionable things out there I'd like to see go that way as well. As long as they're effective advertising, they're likely to stick around.

Thank you, this sums up a lot of what I was initially trying to say. I do think that Lane Bryant's advertising is a lot less offensive than other companies.

On the flipside, another thing that bothers me is when people say that VS Angles have curves and are curvy women. I know they're comparing them to couture runway models, and that they are a bit bigger, but to me, that's not curvy. That's having a slim, more muscular body rather than just being slim without muscles. But that's another topic for another day.

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 11:10 PM
Even if people don't agree with the OP, the point has still been made - the name they have chosen for this particular program has created confusion. It's not called "We Are Real Women, Too!" It's called "Real Women Dollars". Who shops at Lane Bryant? Larger women. Who is this being marketed to? Larger women. Who doesn't shop here or benefit from this program? Smaller women. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was intended when this name was chosen just as it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what 2 plus 2 is.

BTW, the OP isn't the only one saying it: http://www.teenagerie.com/2010/09/thin-women-not-real-women-says-lane.html

I'm glad you understand what I was trying to say too. Sometimes I wonder if I'm making any sense at all. I have a tendency to over-explain without being concise and to the point.

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 11:16 PM
i think this links to the increased amount of 'skinny-shaming' that ive seen going around lately on the internet and in real life. Usually its started by women making pictures of marilyn monroe type women and than showing like nicole ritchie and saying monroe is hotter than ritchie or whoever they use it doesn't matter. its basically all saying that if you don't have a specific body shape, you're not beautiful, you're not a real woman, and you're not sexually attractive to the opposite sex.

And the problem is, a lot of women lose a lot of weight in order to conform to society's idea of being "perfect". Look at how some celebrity women eat and exercise constantly. How they are so cautious of what they eat and how they eat, and how they exercise and when.... it's an obsession that also affects regular women. it also has to do with plastic surgery culture and obsession. Then they're criticized for being "too thin" looking "too plastic" or "too fake." It's like we can never win!

there's this new singer out there named Lana de Rey. I think she's got a cool voice but unfortunately she didn't do too well on SNL. The thing about her is that she tried unsuccessfully at a career under the name Lizzy Grant, so she changed her name, changed her looks, etc. And now she's being criticized for it! How many artists have changed their names and looks in order to be successful? Too many to count. And now she's being accused of getting plastic surgery. It's like she can't freaking win. Poor girl. No matter what she does, she'll be criticized for it.

We need to stop criticizing women and expecting us to be perfect. And the whole Lane Bryant, along with VS, is just another cog in the machine.

bandit bear
02-11-2012, 11:27 PM
At the same time, I can not see how "real women has curves" logically implies, "and the rest of you are a bunch of fakes."

There's a thread here right now where someone is talking about having the best husband. I'm not going to get upset that she MUST be insinuating that mine is, at best, second best.

i personally know more than one woman who view this "real women have curves" as degrading to themselves. It implies that non-curvy women are not real. Not that they're necessarily fake, per se, but "not real." They see it that way. You might not, but what matters is that other, non-curvy women are seeing it that way and it's making them feel erased and devalued as women.

swissy
02-11-2012, 11:49 PM
Its just marketing, think of how many conditions there are with being a "real man".

Usually for us women its more about being a valuable woman in society is very warped.

kaplods
02-12-2012, 12:15 AM
I think we underestimate the strength of most women. Even if Lane Bryant marketing does believe (or wants it's customers to believe) that only fat women are "real women," how can that make anyone feel degraded unless that person actually respects the company or the person talking? And what would make a person believe Lane Bryant, when 98% of the culture believes the opposite - that it's the plus-sized women who are devalued (and most people, sady the research suggests believe the devaluation is legitimate).

If 99.9 of your culture tells you that you're great, and .1% tells you that you're worthless, who are you going to believe (especially if that .1% is not comprised of the people close to you)?

The fashion industry as a whole, our culture in general, and many people in our culture want me to believe that I am ugly and worthless because I am not a size two. Do I feel degraded? Nope, because I KNOW they are all wrong. They can say what they want, because they're wrong. I can tell them they're wrong, or I can prove them wrong by living my life.

You all have the right to tell me I'm not a real woman, that I'm worthless, that I'm ugly... and if you do, I have the right to tell you, you're full of crap.


My husband looks "scary" to many people (350 lbs, 6'2", long hair with beard and mustache - all he needs for the classic "scary biker" look is a leather vest).

I can't tell you how many times women in grocery stores have pulled their children away in my hubby's presence. THAT offends me far more than what any company has to say.

Real prejudice has a lot more to do with how we treat each other on a daily basis, than what companies try to tell us during commercials (and why is anyone believing commercials and advertisers anyway?) If we're so foolish as to believe what advertisers say about us, there's not much hope for us as a people or as individuals.

As children we learn that advertisers lie. The cool toys on tv, aren't ever as fun as they looks on tv. Cologne, toothpaste, beer and winecoolers do not make handsome men and women fall in love with us. This or that ketchup or mayonaise isn't the best in the world. The syrup bottle won't really talk to us (boy did I feel ripped off as a 4 year old to learn that).

We also learn (or should) as children that people lie, and we can't trust everyone including adults and people in authority. We teach our children that if an adult asks them to help them find a lost puppy - to run.

And we need to teach our children and remember as adults, that we can't trust or believe everything that we're told - especially by people who want something from us.

Yes, I'm offended that advertisers lie. I'm extremely offended by the Nutella commercial that implies their spreadable candybar is a health food by saying (truthfully, but misleadingly) that it's made with "healthy ingredients like hazelnuts, skim milk, and just a touch of cocoa," forgetting to mention the sugar and pam oil that are the first ingredients.

but until "absolute truth in advertising" is required across the board (which will probably be never, because people like and respond to ridiculous advertising claims), we have to learn to dismiss all advertisers as not just potential, but probable and almost-certain liars.

bandit bear
02-12-2012, 12:43 AM
I think we underestimate the strength of most women. Even if Lane Bryant marketing does believe (or wants it's customers to believe) that only fat women are "real women," how can that make anyone feel degraded unless that person actually respects the company or the person talking? And what would make a person believe Lane Bryant, when 98% of the culture believes the opposite - that it's the plus-sized women who are devalued (and most people, sady the research suggests believe the devaluation is legitimate).

It has nothing to do with respect for the company, though. What it has to do with is the idea of a "real woman." You ought to read the website www.microaggressions.com. it's about tiny little assaults in our every day life, and it applies to race, gender, ethnicity, etc. People submit things that happen to them and say how it made them feel. It's not about underestimating the "strength of most women." You could have zero respect for someone or could care less about what they say, be the most confident person in the world, and still feel hurt by what they say to you.

The point isn't that MORE plus-sized women are devalued (I certainly wouldn't disagree), but that in attempting to make them feel better (myself in that demographic), they're devaluing thin women.

If 99.9 of your culture tells you that you're great, and .1% tells you that you're worthless, who are you going to believe (especially if that .1% is not comprised of the people close to you)?

Well, sometimes, it's that one person who can ruin your day.

I'll tell you something about myself. I'm white, but I look ethnically biracial. People assume that I speak Spanish because I'm dark. When someone comes up to me speaking Spanish, it upsets me because they don't do it to my light-skinned, white, coworkers. I know it's something silly to feel upset over, but it makes me feel like I'm not a part of my family. And it's the same when people ask me "What are you"? when referring to my ethnicity/race. And when they express disbelief when I say "White." And then when they suggest that maybe I was adopted, etc. And I'm a confident person too. But it's that one person who can make you feel like crap. And that's where microaggressions falls under.

The fashion industry as a whole, our culture in general, and many people in our culture want me to believe that I am ugly and worthless because I am not a size two. Do I feel degraded? Nope, because I KNOW they are all wrong. They can say what they want, because they're wrong. I can tell them they're wrong, or I can prove them wrong by living my life.

You all have the right to tell me I'm not a real woman, that I'm worthless, that I'm ugly... and if you do, I have the right to tell you, you're full of crap.

And I think that's great that you have that confidence and feel that way because not a lot of other people do.

Real prejudice has a lot more to do with how we treat each other on a daily basis, than what companies try to tell us during commercials (and why is anyone believing commercials and advertisers anyway?) If we're so foolish as to believe what advertisers say about us, there's not much hope for us as a people or as individuals.

Ads can be hurtful. Ads can make people angry and upset and ashamed. And they have every right to be. and only they can decide for themselves how to feel.