JCPenney's new campaign #HereIAm is changing the conversation around what it means to be plus-size. Prepare to be inspired

By Kylie Gilbert
Updated: June 21, 2016

JCPenney has just unveiled a powerful new campaign video "Here I Am" to celebrate their plus-size clothing line, and, more importantly, to spark a conversation with the incredible plus-size influencers who are championing the self-love and body confidence movement through their work.

The video kills it in the talent department, featuring style blogger Gabi Gregg of Gabifresh, yoga teacher/Instagram celeb Valerie Sagun of Big Gal Yoga, blogger and author of Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls Jes Baker (read an excerpt from her book: Why the Gym Isn't Just for Skinny People), singer/songwriter Mary Lambert, and Project Runway winner Ashley Nell Tipton (the first plus-size designer to win, who is designing a fall line for JCPenney that will go up to size 34). While each of these women are inspiring enough on her own, the story they tell collectively is even more compelling.

As many of the YouTube commenters can attest, this one will make you tear up:

"Would my life be better if I were thinner? No, but it would be better if I wasn't treated so poorly because I'm not," Baker opens the video. "We're countering a lifetime of learned hatred," she says. In the video, each of the women share their emotional stories of being bullied and shamed because of their size, and learning to be comfortable, and actually thrive, in their own skin. (One woman shares: "Losing and Regaining 100 Pounds-Twice-Taught Me to Love My Body.")

"Fat girls can do whatever they want. You can do yoga, you can do rock climbing. Fat girls can run, fat girls can dance, fat girls can have amazing jobs...we can walk runways, be on the cover of magazines, wear stripes, bright colors," the women say in a powerful montage.

Beyond just advertising their plus-size clothing line, the video was created to encourage women to support each other and join in on the social conversation by using the #HereIAm. "When we start letting go of preconceived notions of who someone is based on what they look like on the outside, we all take one step closer to body positivity. This video...exemplifies the spirit and beauty found inside everybody, regardless of what your dress size is," JCPenney writes on their YouTube page.

Despite the influx of body positive messaging these days, the video makes it clear that work still needs to be done when it comes to changing the narrative and truly embracing fat women in this country. (Is The Body Positive Movement All Talk?) Because as Baker says, "The bodies don't need to change, the attitude does."

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Comments (1)

Anonymous
July 21, 2017
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