Woman Proves Body-Positive Advertising Isn't Always What It Seems
She found that not one of the eleven New York City H&M stores carry plus-size clothing.
In light of the body-positive movement, an increasing amount of fashion labels have used models like Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence to seem more diverse and inclusive. Take H&M for instance. Earlier this year, they released a new ad campaign debuting their most body-positive collection yet. Or Nike, who recently featured non-straight sized women looking fierce AF while modeling their new line of sports bras.
These brands offer one promise: No matter what your shape or size, you will find something perfect for you. But how much of that is actually true? One brave woman from The Revelist decided to find out.
During her experiment, Jessica Torres visited four seemingly body-positive labels in New York City, including Nike and H&M. Turns out, they were an utter disappointment.
While at Nike, Torres was hopeful - especially since their sizes go up to a 3X. But after visiting their acclaimed sports bra section, she found the variety was minimal. Not only that but the largest size she could find was an XL that barely fit once she tried it on.
"I was in shock that I could actually get it on my body," she said, "but when I looked in the mirror I had uni-boob in the front and fat spillage in the back. Trying to get it off was a horror show."
She had better luck with an XL workout shirt, but simply because of the stretchy fabric. "I would never wear this in public," she said.
Her next stop was H&M, where even more tragedy awaited. "I asked a clerk where the plus-size section was, and she told me they didn't have one," she said. "And then she tried to point me to the accessories section."
Not only that but Torres found that not one of the eleven New York City H&M stores carry plus-size clothing. Well, they did at one point but decided to remove them to make room for accessories and home goods. "Going backwards instead of forward is not how body positivity works, H&M," Torres said.
Aerie and Lonely Lingerie were the other two brands Torres visited as part of the experiment. Similar disappointment ensued.
Torres's experiences are her own and limited to the stores she visited in New York. However, there's no denying that her findings speak volumes to how body-positive campaigns can be extremely misleading. Seriously, how can all these brands be body positive, when some don't even carry plus-size labels in stores?
The truth is, embodying the principles of body positivity is so much more than just laying off the Photoshop. In an ideal world, brands would practice what they preach and make shopping for clothes a positive experience - no matter what your size - by carrying sizes that actually fit and flatter every body type. Unfortunately, we're just not there yet.