If we only listened to advertising, you’d think lingerie and swimsuits were just for supermodels. Last year, a bold Victoria’s Secret ad said as much when it lined up a collection its models under the heading “The Perfect Body,” but was then forced by the ensuing outrage to change the tagline to the somewhat inexplicable “A Body For Every Body” over the same image.
Enter Curvy Kate and Lane Bryant. The plus size lingerie brands have put their own spin on the Victoria’s Secret message with two new campaigns that celebrate positive and confident women of all shapes and sizes. Curvy Kate is looking for its next plus-size poster woman and created an ad that more accurately embodies “A Body For Every Body” with a group of models who are not professional models at all, but confident real women, who are the 10 contest finalists that fans can vote for online.
For its new Cacique Intimates line, Lane Bryant aims directly at those other models with its #ImNoAngel campaign, featuring plus-size models–including Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue ad model Ashley Graham–proudly declaring they’re not part of the Victoria’s Secret skinny brigade and that there are more versions of sexy than what we’re typically shown in lingerie ads.
Both campaigns will undoubtedly strike a chord among people tired of unrealistic body image in advertising, and using Victoria’s Secret as a lightning rod is a smart way to tap into that pent up consumer frustration. Though for its part, Lane Bryant isn’t copping to calling anyone out just yet.