HelloGiggle.com recently shared this photograph from selling website/app Wish, that were advertising a pair of plus size shorts:
As noted in the HG article this is an incredibly cruel way to advertise clothing. Naturally there’s been some uproar over social media. Christina, of Interrobang art, who makes and sells clothing up to a 34, posted this fantastic response on her Instagram account
But this isn’t the first time this sort of cruel marketing has been used. AliExpress were under scrutiny back in 2015 for using this image to sell plus size leggings
The Big Bloomers Company, a site dedicated to plus size underwear use this to advertise their plus size tights
|Aye, you keep smiling it up Sally Small.|
I don’t doubt there are many more, these are just the ones I was able to find first. So what’s the issue?
In laymans terms it’s disrespectful as fuck to use this sort of strategy to advertise plus size clothing.
The photos are utterly ridiculous, verging on comical and circus-esque. “Look how HUGE this product is! You can fit a whole other person with room to spare!”
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? We don’t see fat people as real people but rather bodies that can’t be comprehended without using “normal” bodies for scale. You want to advertise plus size clothing, and demonstrate how big your products are? USE ACTUAL FAT PEOPLE. Use a diverse range of sizes to demonstrate the variety of sizing you offer. “Here’s a body wearing a size 12, and here’s the same product in a 32.” It’s NOT HARD.
There are so many fat people out there who would offer their services. Look at how plus size brands have tapped into using bloggers to model for them. The sizes are out there: you just won’t use them.
Frankly I am sick of companies humiliating fat people and in the next breath taking our money. If they aren’t using micro-aggresive language like “flattering”, “slimming” and other such crap to suggest our fat can, and should, be magically hidden then they are outright removing us from their brick and mortar stores.
What is even the logic in this? Do they not think fat people are going to take one look at this and close the fucking tab? Bullying people does not a profit make. Too long have companies tapped into a person’s low self esteem to sell you a product you don’t need, for an imaginary issue you don’t even have. But people need clothes. What we don’t need is being made out to be circus freaks.