Lane Bryant, a plus-size brand, launched its #ImNoAngel advertisements in the beginning of April this year. The advertisements featured models Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring, Candice Huffine and more. The women were styled in Lane Bryant's exclusive bra collection Cacique, defining "sexy" in numerous ways during the ad. They used social media to further challenge conventional beauty standards.
#ImNoAngel came at the height of a debate surrounding the term "plus-size." When earlier on this year, author Ajay Rochester created the trending phrase, #DropThePlus, and Model and activist Tess Munster started #EffYourBeautyStandards. The two campaigns contribute to the ongoing conversation regarding fair representation of a varied body types in fashion and media.
The #ImNoAngel hashtag was spread all over Twitter and Instagram, as women express gratitude for Lane Bryant's message of diversity and inclusion.
Due to her disappointment Jes decided to make her own series of ads.
Baker's #EmpowerALLBodies photo series which shows plus-size women of all shapes and sizes - not just those who would be considered "models."
"You’ve presented the 'ideal' plus body: hourglass, perceivably 'healthy', cellulite-free, able bodied, cis-gender, and 'conventionally' beautiful."
Jes gathered a group of diverse models, including herself, and worked with photographer Jade Beall to show what a truly diverse plus-size underwear campaign would look like.
Baker in her open letter, also offered suggestions about how Lane Bryant could improve when it comes to diversity and asked the company to consider including:
Cellulite; 90% of women have it.
Bellies; many plus women don't have flat torsos.
All abilities; we’re all inherently sexy.
Transgender women; they're "all woman" too.
Small boobs and wide waists; we're not all "proportional."
Stretch marks and wrinkles; they're trophies of a life lived.
Personally I believe what Jes Baker has done is truly beautiful. All women should be celebrated for their beauty. Beauty needs to stop being defined. Hopefully 2015 will be the year that these views are challenged.
Nina is in her Honours year at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow studying History. She loves keeping fit and healthy at the gym and singing to her hearts content. Because of Nina's love of all things history related, she has a passion for reading, writing and researching. Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for an online magazine for female students at Strathclyde called Her Campus Strath and wants to continue her passion for writing after graduation.