back to top

People Are Using #ThisIsPlus To Demand Diversity In Plus-Size Advertising

The tag challenges retailers to walk the inclusive talk.

If you've checked out the body-positive realm of social media lately, you may have already come across #ThisIsPlus.

The tag was started by A Curvy Cupcake blogger Katt Cupcake in response to recent plus-size campaigns like Lane Bryant's #PlusIsEqual and Evans' #StyleHasNoSize, both of which have received criticism for their lack of diversity.

If Cupcake's name sounds familiar, by the way, it's because she also created the #curvee tag after Instagram banned #curvy as a search term.
instagram.com

If Cupcake's name sounds familiar, by the way, it's because she also created the #curvee tag after Instagram banned #curvy as a search term.

In a September 22 post, Cupcake wrote that #ThisIsPlus is "for everyone, but specifically anyone who feels that [these] campaigns do not represent them."

"It seems that unless you are tall, white, and have and flat tummy to complement your size 16 hourglass figure, then plus is NOT equal ... Plus bodies are so, so varied, and we need the clothing industry to realize that."
Evans

"It seems that unless you are tall, white, and have and flat tummy to complement your size 16 hourglass figure, then plus is NOT equal ... Plus bodies are so, so varied, and we need the clothing industry to realize that."

Since then, #ThisIsPlus-tagged photos have been posted across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by hundreds of people of varying shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and physical abilities.

Advertisement

“People feel they have been sidelined for having an ‘undesirable’ shape or ‘unacceptable’ size by the very brands who are supposed to represent them,” Cupcake tells BuzzFeed Life.

Cupcake says she's spoken to representatives for plus-size brands, who insist they're simply using models from agencies whose talent fit "industry standards." But she believes this is passing the buck.

Advertisement

"These standards are 5 foot 10 inch, size 12 to 16, hourglass-shaped with no weight around their faces, and predominantly white," she says.

"Why not use the size 18+ pear shaped women that the clothes are targeted towards? If [retailers are] ashamed of showing us, why should we give them our money?"
instagram.com

"Why not use the size 18+ pear shaped women that the clothes are targeted towards? If [retailers are] ashamed of showing us, why should we give them our money?"

Meanwhile, Lane Bryant is standing by its campaign.

"Our #PlusIsEqual campaign is meant to empower women of all shapes and sizes," a spokesperson for the company tells BuzzFeed Life. "At Lane Bryant, we embrace every type of woman. With our campaign we want to let her know that the idealized body type, by which she is constantly reminded of in the media, may not be realistic for vast majority of female consumers. "Lane Bryant cast six beautiful women of various sizes, body types, and backgrounds to star in this campaign. They are in every way real women, with real bodies and we think they are beautiful and couldn't be happier with the image results."
Lane Bryant

"Our #PlusIsEqual campaign is meant to empower women of all shapes and sizes," a spokesperson for the company tells BuzzFeed Life. "At Lane Bryant, we embrace every type of woman. With our campaign we want to let her know that the idealized body type, by which she is constantly reminded of in the media, may not be realistic for vast majority of female consumers.

"Lane Bryant cast six beautiful women of various sizes, body types, and backgrounds to star in this campaign. They are in every way real women, with real bodies and we think they are beautiful and couldn't be happier with the image results."

On her blog, Cupcake says she hopes #ThisIsPlus will inspire retailers to "start celebrating ALL plus-size bodies, not opt for the same old formula that showcases only a tiny percentage of the people it is supposed to represent."

"I'm sure there are some ladies on the smaller end of plus-size who have felt empowered by the models used in these campaigns," she tells BuzzFeed Life. "But for every woman who has been inspired, there are a dozen who have felt rejected."
instagram.com

"I'm sure there are some ladies on the smaller end of plus-size who have felt empowered by the models used in these campaigns," she tells BuzzFeed Life. "But for every woman who has been inspired, there are a dozen who have felt rejected."

"That's why I started #ThisIsPlus. I want to show off every kind of plus-size you can imagine."

Mhm, that's right.

Epic Records

BuzzFeed Life has reached out to Evans for comment.

Connect with As/Is