When I first saw Lane Bryant’s most recent ad campaign, I almost cried. Okay, so the campaign does not apply to me – and certainly not to She Might Be – because active wear does not have a place in my life, but you guys: it spoke to me. This Body Is Changing The Game was emblazoned proudly across four beautiful women, all of whom looked in some way or another like I do. These big ladies weren’t photoshopped or photographed from flattering angles. They were allowed to exist exactly as they were, and that is something I am so passionate about in so many ways.
I get why it has the potential to be problematic: once again, this is an acceptable version of a fat woman. One who might be fat, but at least she is active. At least she has a track record which shows the viewer that she is, indeed, in a good state of health. Yet a brand selling active wear had so many other options than to use superfats in their campaign, and the fact that they decided to showcase sweat and stomach aprons tells me that the subtext is this: “please do not be afraid, if you want to join us there is a place for you here”. They dismissed all of those January slogans we are so tired of seeing and, instead of pushing messages of change and self-hatred, left me feeling pumped and ready for action. And I legitimately don’t even like walking from the couch to the kitchen, so their advertising definitely works.
“WITH POWER, NOT DOUBT. WITH GOALS, NOT RESOLUTIONS. WITH FIERCE, FEARLESS ENERGY THAT PUSHES ALL THE BOUNDARIES. THIS YEAR, WE’RE TEAMING UP WITH FOUR GAME-CHANGING ATHLETES WHO INSPIRE US TO SLAY—AND TOTALLY OWN THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE IN THE PROCESS.
LET’S DO THIS, 2017.”
Realistically, I’m not here to critique the quality of their active wear, and I don’t care about the range itself. Posts about active wear have no place on She Might Be, because we’re a space that is free from any pressures or implications that you should be different. All I need to do is look at the advert and the models in front of me, and decide whether I’m loving it or not. And I am loving it. Lane Bryant’s campaign isn’t without their critics, but let’s be honest for just a second here. We are a community of women who are desperate for inclusive representation, fighting through the crowd for a space in the fashion world. Tuck those elbows in, ladies, because Lane Bryant have raised the bar this year. I can’t wait to see which brand will be next to try and match them.