UK lingerie brand Curvy Kate has gone viral by recreating a controversial Victoria’s Secret ad with ‘real’ women in the place of supermodels.
The lingerie brand has shot 10 of the contestants for its ‘Star In A Bra’ modeling search in a group shot that mimics the ‘Perfect Body’ ad released by Victoria’s Secret last year.
That campaign proved so controversial that the iconic brand was forced to respond to the backlash and replace the ‘Perfect Body’ slogan with one that read: ‘A Body For Every Body’. (Given that every model in the Victoria’s Secret ad had a similar body type, it’s unclear how the new slogan actually fixed anything.)
Responding to the public outcry for more realistic images of women in the media, Curvy Kate’s Star In A Bra competition gives shapely women from all over the world (including Australia) a chance to strut their stuff. Over 1000 women entered, and the top 10 finalists were featured in the mock Victoria’s Secret ad. The winner is due to be announced later this week.
“I love the idea of representing a brand that preaches diversity and body positivity,” says finalist Megan McGinn. “As a teenager I had some experience in the modeling world, however I was soon put off by derogatory comments photographers and stylists would make about my curves. I’ve always loved having an hourglass figure, but the industry made me question myself.”
Curvy Kate isn’t the only brand to take a well-intentioned swipe at Victoria’s Secret this week.
American lingerie company Lane Bryant has also swept social media with its #ImNoAngel campaign, which depicts a diverse range of women with different body shapes (in opposition to the Victoria’s Secret ‘Angels’ who frequent the label’s runway shows). Lane Bryant says it is “redefining sexy”, and has successfully encouraged women to share images of themselves using the hashtag.
Though Curvy Kate and Lane Bryant would traditionally be defined as ‘plus size’ brands, there is a clear shift away from that terminology within the fashion industry.
“The demographics are changing, and that is all the more reason to change perception and talk about it as ‘her size’, not ‘plus size’,” Lane Bryant CEO Linda Heasley told Bizwomen in February. “I wouldn’t want to call myself ‘plus size’.”
“I do NOT find this empowering,” she wrote. “I’m NOT proud to be called ‘plus’, but I AM proud to be called a ‘model’, that is my profession!”
What do you think of the Curvy Kate and Lane Bryant campaigns? Let us know in the comments below!