Every month or so it seems that a new ‘body positive’ campaign or hashtag is launched that claims to be super inclusive and diverse and all about loving all yourself. Except every time the same thing seems to happen. The campaigns feature mostly white ‘curve’ models, who maybe have a slight hint of cellulite, or maybe a tiny roll. That’s it. In some campaigns I could swear that it’s just one model photographed over and over again in different outfits. When we as a community call out the brands and groups doing these campaigns, we get told the same things over and over. ‘This is just the start, next time!’ ‘We really tried to be diverse but it’s so hard!’ ‘But these curve models who are drop dead gorgeous and want to drop the term plus size are totally downtrodden and oppressed and their voices are more important than actually fat voices because they are aesthetically pleasing!’. OK – Maybe I made the last one up but that seems to be the general message.
So, I gave myself a mission. I recently attended The Curve Fashion Festival, and with no prior organisation, set myself the task of photographing more diversity in a single day than most supposedly body positive campaigns have ever done. I went armed with my camera, popped a post on facebook, and asked people to pose for me!
I photographed my fellow tall ladies, petite lovelies, small breasted folks, big boobied delights, disabled fashionistas, LGBT babes, tattooed rockstars, big fats, small fats, parents, grandparents, including a huge range of ethnicities. I did it all in a single day, just by asking people to be a part of this article.
It was really that easy. I photographed only people who were attending TCFF, which is a an event aimed at women, so with some actual planning and forethought, it would be so simple to include anyone and everyone on the spectrum. There are still so many other people who deserve to be included, there is always room for more.
All I had to do was ask. Which is why I don’t understand why the big brands and body positive campaigns can’t do it? I proved that it isn’t hard. Maybe it’s because these companies don’t want to be diverse, maybe they simply want to shift the standard of beauty ever so slightly to include slightly curvier women, maybe they just want to give the illusion that they are super awesome and inclusive to help their profit margins rather than actually promote diversity. Just maybe.
No more excuses. If I can do this in a day, with no help or planning, then these brands need to be held accountable! She Might Be did it, and so can they.
If you’ve ever felt excluded from a body positive campaign, share your selfies with #shemightbediverse on social media! We deserve to see ourselves in the media, and it’s time companies who claim to be body positive were shown how much better they can do.