The prevalent use of social media, especially Twitter, gave birth to hashtags. This is considered as today’s generation’s iconic symbol in sending important messages across.
Several of these hashtags are used by known plus-size personalities to launch their respective positive body image messages. Among the most popular messages that are now sweeping across the plus-size community and flowing into the mainstream include that of Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign, The Militant Baker blogger Jes Baker’s #EmpowerAllBodies and fashion blogger Amanda Richards’ #ImNoModelEither.
Although these campaigns were meant to send out a positive message among all women, particularly those in the plus-size populace, #ImNoModelEither originator Amanda Richards says otherwise.
She stated how such hashtags, one of which was used by the retail brand Lane Bryant was particularly aimed at its major competitor brand, Victoria’s Secret. She pointed out how hashtag campaigns like these ultimately create the ‘us versus them’ mentality.
Although these movements generate a positive message, Richards also added that women should pay close attention to what these messages are really conveying.
She said that the real message of positive body image should not be defined by a gorgeous fat woman in lingerie. It should come from loving one’s self, which means focusing less on valuing beauty but more on a person’s inherent worth.
Cult of California designer Jen Wilder shared the same sentiment and summarized her opinions in these words:
“Taking down other women in order to represent your brand does nothing but turn me off. I think the whole plus industry and Lane Bryant would do well to get their own viewpoints to sell their merchandise instead of co-opting outdated mindsets of body comparison and in general ‘othering’ people in order to prove that your brand/style/body is worthy.”