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Old 02-10-2012, 07:49 PM   #16  
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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.
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/...kinny-bashing/

http://girliegirlarmy.com/lifestyle/...ays-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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:55 PM   #17  
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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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:00 PM   #18  
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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.
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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:09 PM   #19  
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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.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:35 PM   #20  
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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!
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:00 PM   #21  
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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'.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:03 PM   #22  
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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'.
yes, exactly
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:23 PM   #23  
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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.

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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.

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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.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:12 AM   #24  
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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.

Last edited by MissGuided; 02-11-2012 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:24 AM   #25  
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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."
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:30 AM   #26  
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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.



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Originally Posted by Lovely View Post
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.

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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.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:43 AM   #27  
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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.

Last edited by bandit bear; 02-11-2012 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:59 AM   #28  
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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?
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:44 AM   #29  
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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.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:55 AM   #30  
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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
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