Forever 21's plus-size Instagram campaign draws criticism
Forever 21 this week faced a backlash (and a backlash against that backlash) for an Instagram campaign highlighting its plus-size apparel line called “She’s not plus,” Digiday reports.
Many Instagram users took issue with a few of the featured photos on the account, saying the models didn’t look “plus-size” at all, though the backlash prompted yet others to defend the images.
Forever 21 later deleted some images garnering the criticism.
When it comes to marketing, retailers sometimes face criticism from some in the plus-size blogosphere when plus-size models, content, or merchandise don’t meet certain criteria. That seems to cause some marketers to throw up their hands.
"It's become such an angry section of fashion," one anonymous plus-size blogger told Fashionista in 2014. "Everyone has an opinion, and it's such a negative, negative environment, and it sounds sad, but they want to tear each other apart. Models get it all the time, brands especially. They'll say, 'Oh we can't use that model again because they say that she's too skinny.’"
Indeed, as that blogger noted and has happened with Forever 21’s Instagram campaign this week, criticism often centers around plus-size models being too thin.
Yet marketers face a conundrum because, as with all models in advertising, studies show that women actually prefer ads featuring thin models and say they’re more likely to buy clothing than that shown in ads with what the researchers called "regular-size models.” Some research in plus sizes specifically shows that size 8 models test better than size 14 models among plus-size customers themselves.
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