Contributed by: Jordan Watts, GEN Development Intern
With bikini season quickly approaching, it is easy to quickly become discouraged by our bodies. It seems that every swimsuit model has a perfectly flat stomach and toned thighs, like they spent the entirety of their winter running on the treadmill and eating salads for every meal of the day, including dessert. When comparing yourself to these models in dressing room mirrors, self esteem can plummet.
As of late, a few brands have been advocating more for acceptance of all bodies by adding plus size sections in their stores and websites, using models of different sizes to represent their brand, and not retouching their models. Some of these brands include H&M, Lucky Brand, and Aerie by American Eagle. With their latest bathing suit campaign, Target has joined the likes of these popular clothing and accessory brands.
The corporation’s most recent swimwear campaign featured pictures of models with no Photoshop or retouching added. Cellulite, stretchmarks, and belly rolls are in full view, and it’s totally amazing! While two of the featured models would be considered plus size, the other two fit into the size range of typical Target models. This is awesome because it’s important to know that every type of body has flaws and that it is okay. This type of advertisement is extremely rare, even among brands that have added clothing for plus size models. What’s even more amazing is that the photos seem so authentic that it feels like we found them while scrolling down our Instagram feed. You might have even seen them on Instagram if you follow any of the models on the social media app.
More amazing news coming at you: the models featured in the campaign aren’t traditional models, they’re young, up-and-coming stars. The four women Target is using as models are pro-skateboarder Lizzie Armanto, body positivity activist and plus-size model Denise Bidot, actress and dancer Megan Batoon, and former Miss USA, actress, and TV show host Kamie Crawford. A spokesperson for Target shared with Refinery 29 that the company “loved working with these women because they embody confidence and inspire women to embrace and be proud of who they are, regardless of their size or shape.”
Hopefully with such a huge and affordable brand jumping on the body-positivity bandwagon it will encourage other similar companies to do the same. Just as media has continually drilled into our heads that a certain type of body is ideal, they can slowly reverse their damage by continuing to represent all body types.