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Old 02-10-2012, 12:56 AM   #1
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Thumbs down This really upsets me

http://www.lanebryant.com/content.js...B0207 12x0001

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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:40 AM   #2
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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?
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:44 AM   #3
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It's just an advertising gimmick, it does make you talk about Lane Bryant, after all.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:07 AM   #4
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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 ). 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?

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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
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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" by Jeanne Kilbourne was a great read in this area.

About-face.org collects both bad and good ads and you can write to advertisers.

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Old 02-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #6
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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!

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Originally Posted by runningfromfat View Post
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 ). 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.

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Old 02-10-2012, 11:26 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by runningfromfat View Post
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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by sontaikle View Post

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! Also, I placed my first order and it should be here sometime by the end of the month too, I seriously can't wait.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bargoo View Post
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by runningfromfat View Post
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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:57 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:17 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:32 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:54 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:12 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:46 PM   #15
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It's just an advertising gimmick, it does make you talk about Lane Bryant, after all.
^Yup.
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