Proud2Bme | #ImNoAngel Campaign

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#ImNoAngel Campaign

By Chelsea Kronengold--Lane Bryant, a retailer that sells women sizes 14 to 28, recently launched their new body-positive campaign: #ImNoAngel.

The #ImNoAngel campaign seems to be a dig at the ultra-thin, unattainable Victoria’s Secret Angel. Unlike like the VS Angel, “The women who wear [Lane Bryant lingerie] know that sexy comes in many shapes and sizes. They’re no angels—and they own it.”

Victoria’s Secret has been in the limelight with regards to their body-shaming messages (i.e., the “Perfect Body” campaign) and their use of notoriously tall, thin, busty models. After receiving backlash from The Perfect Body Campaign, the company changed their slogan to “A Body For Every Body,” still indicating that every body looks — or should look — like a VS Angel. 

Considering that the average American woman is a size 14, I appreciate Lane Bryant's work in combatting these body-shaming messages and promoting messages of sexy at any size. As a plus-size woman, myself, I am thrilled to see women who look like me feeling comfortable and sexy and their skin, but I can't help but wonder: why must the campaign compare these beautiful, curvy women to Victoria’s Secret models? As empowering as it feels to be validated by the bodies in this campaign, there is a piece of me that feels like the campaign is yet another example of us vs. them (curvy vs. thin.)  

In a press release, Lane Bryant President and CEO, Linda Heasley, states the campaign is “Designed to empower ALL women to love every part of herself. Lane Bryant firmly believes that she is sexy and we want to encourage her to confidently show it, in her own way.” However, if the message is body-positivity and that all women are sexy, Lane Bryant should be celebrating body diversity alongside Victoria’s Secret, rather than body-shaming their models, (likewise, VS should broaden their definition of sexy.) 

The truth of the matter is people (thus beauty) come in all shapes and sizes, so why aren’t we seeing more designers and retailers selling a wider range of clothes? Why does beauty have to be represented as a dichotomy, either standard-size or plus-size? And most importantly, why does “beautiful at every size” have to be a movement, rather than a matter of fact?

One of the models in the #ImNoAngel campaign, Ashley Graham, posted a picture on Instagram with a body-positive caption: “I redefine sexy by stating that Beauty Is Beyond Size!!”

Now THIS is the kind of inclusive messaging I can get behind. Although Lane Bryant takes a step in the right direction with this campaign, I, like Graham, suggest we take the focus away from one’s size and redefine sexy based on what makes YOU beautifully you.

About this blogger: Chelsea is a body image and eating disorder scholar and activist, currently pursuing a master's degree in clinical psychology from Columbia University's Teachers College. In addition to her studies, Chelsea is a consultant and program administrator for NEDA’s implementation of The Body Project. Prior to working on The Body Project, Chelsea coordinated the inaugural and second annual Gainesville, FL NEDA walks and served as the Proud2Bme National Outreach Coordinator. Chelsea has spoken on behalf of NEDA and Proud2Bme about her personal struggles with binge eating disorder and body dissatisfaction to media platforms such as Huffington Post Live, Seventeen Magazine, WebMD and SiriusXM Doctor Radio.

Also by Chelsea: 

Are Plus Size Models Not Plus-Size Enough?

BED & Doctors: From Stigma to Support

The Bieber Debacle

How About A Name Change For Fat Talk Free Week?

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