So spurred on today by my somewhat delayed coffee meeting with Debra, the other half of SLiNK boutique – I have decided that this site deserves to be updated and updated regularly. Those that know me, know I have so many fingers in so many pies, well, it is little wonder there is anytime for anything so I have devised a plan of what to do when in the hope that I stick to it. Because I’m cheesy, I’m making each days post idea correlate to that day of the week, a little bit of alliteration is never a bad thing surely. So Wednesday’s are now for opinion pieces – ‘Wow I never thought about that Wednesday’ and we all know I have plenty of opinions.
This weeks thought is all about marketing of plus sizes. I doubt it has escaped many plus size women’s attention but a curvy figure is seriously under represented in today’s modern media and with the average size creeping above a size 14 it isn’t for lack of curvy girls that this misrepresentation is happening. Plus size actresses and actors are often typecast into the humorous and cuddly or utterly pathetically down trodden. I’m yet to see a plus size super hero or a chunky Bond. But it isn’t just in TV or film roles that plus size is typecast, at least even though it is typecast it is there. When it comes to advertising, with the exception to the PR stunt rule plus size bodies are not only missing from ads, numerous plus size brands don’t splash the cash on marketing at all. But why make a line you aren’t that fussed about promoting? Is plus size really the dirty secret at the back of the wardrobe? And if this is true, why is that?
To start with plus size marketing has always had a budget deficit. Brands produce plus size lines because, unsurprisingly they sell. We are getting bigger, there is no doubt about that. Just check out any daily paper and there will be an article about our expanding waistlines and as fashion lines grow with them, the ‘I have nothing to wear’ line is beginning to wear thin as the choice of lines grows dramatically too. But the reason you aren’t seeing them in our media is simply because of the belief by brands that really and truly they just don’t need to advertise. After all hungry for fashion and a cheap fashion thrill and thanks to SEO and the internet, plus size women are seeking our fashion thrills and while there are definitely more retailers than ever before the competition is far less fierce than that of the main, straight size high street. The brands don’t feel they need to dazzle you with glossy pictures and expensive ad campaigns. For them it is more of a case of… these women want clothes they will find us. But as the market gets fiercer and more brands move into it will they be forced to put their money where there mouth is? Do you want brands to woo you or as plus size women have we got used to not having the champagne and chocolates before we seal the deal? Are we not worthy of a glossy incentive?
It is about time that changes though. I’ve always believed that plus size women have had to work just that bit harder to find fashion, never the less fashion that fits and flatters! But is that enough? Do we simply just want a dress or do we want to be sold the dream like our straight size friends get given at Zara and Topshop? For me, fashion in its purest form is still about fantasy, escapism and aspiration, remove that and the fun and frivolity leaves us with nothing more than the rag trade our grandparents reminisced about.
The most recent advert from Boohoo, recent purveyor of a plus line have just produced this gorgeous advert in Manchester although making it look like NYC for Boohoo A/W14. The advert does feature Katie M (Check out our MODEL WATCH piece on Katie M) but notice how she doesn’t quite make the final line up of girls, is this a case… sorry girl ‘You Cant Sit With Us’?
(btw… love the vibe of the advert and Becca Dudley rocks!)
Watch it here:
Featured Image: Willa Gebbie illustration