Why More Brands Are Embracing Plus-Size Models
ADWEEK|April 25, 2016

Marketers are embracing plus-size models as body-positive selfies and hashtags storm social media.

Emma Bazilian

Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated made national headlines for featuring a plus-size model on the cover of its iconic Swimsuit Issue for the first time ever. Upon the cover’s reveal, editor MJ Day proclaimed, “Beauty is not cookie-cutter. Beauty is not ‘one size fits all.’”

We’ve all heard similar refrains countless times, from both media outlets and brands whose actual representation of women would beg to differ. Lately, though, a growing number of them are beginning to put their money where their mouths are by hiring models who don’t fit the typical size zero mold, making curvy models like Ashley Graham (who starred on the SI cover as well as Maxim’s April 2016 issue), Robyn Lawley (who has appeared in campaigns for brands like Barneys and Lauren by Ralph Lauren) and Tess Holliday (who covered People’s body issue last year as “The World’s First Size 22 Supermodel”) into household names.

“We’re seeing a great acceptance of girls in all different sizes, which is really exciting,” noted Gary Dakin, the former head of Ford’s now-shuttered plus division who in 2013 co-founded modeling agency JAG, which represents women of all sizes. “It’s not something that was happening in our day at Ford.”

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