There's A Difference Between Objectifying Women And Making Them Feel Damn Sexy

by Maria Guido
Originally Published: 

© Facebook/Lane Bryant

Lane Bryant launched the #ImNoAngel campaign this week, taking a clear stab at the Victoria’s Secret recipe for sexy — stick thin yet still managing to have boobs. Its aim is to show that women of all shapes and sizes are sexy.

The reaction to the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive, but there are still many out there claiming that these women are being “objectified.” Look, I’m a professional feminist killjoy and I still love these photos. Here’s why:

Lane Bryant is a brand for women who don’t fit into the very limiting sizes all popular chain stores provide. As someone who is a size 12-14 and still “fits” into the larger end of the spectrum of sizes provided, I can attest to the fact that it’s impossible to find these sizes in stores. Because they are always out of stock, because again, the average woman in America is a size 14. But we’re still made to feel like we need special stores to fit into things. Like we’re not the norm.

Enter a store like Lane Bryant, that provides fashion-forward clothing for women with sizes beginning at that most-common 14. They’ve been making women feel sexy for years for actually producing clothes that they can fit into. I look at this image and I think, “That bra looks great on her. I bet it would look great on me, too.” I want to give her a high-five. I look at a Victoria’s Secret catalogue and think, “That bra looks great on her, but when I try it on and remember what she looked like in it, I may need to go weep in a corner for a few minutes.”

A few months ago Sports Illustrated was awash in Internet praise for finally allowing a “plus-size” woman to pose on their pages. Here’s what she looked like:

Seriously, the Internet acted like SI had found a cure for cancer, for simply allowing this gorgeous woman to be featured on their pages. This woman is not plus size, world. Just stop. I’d also like to point out that the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is created for men. Can we all agree on that? It’s not a buying guide for women, it’s eye candy for the 77% of their subscribers who are male.

The Lane Bryant image was created for women. To me it says, “Yes your body has changed or never fit the mold to begin with – but who cares. You look great.” This is a message that all of us need to hear. After the birth of my two kids, there are times when I feel like I’m surrounded by a body I don’t recognize anymore. This image tells me to buy clothes that fit me and relax. Hallelujah.

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