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Here’s Why the New Simply Be Campaign Is Drawing Controversy

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Over the last five years, there has been an incredible shift in plus-size fashion. Plus-size models have walked the runway, clothes beyond sample size have hits racks, and major fashion brands have made gorgeous designs for curvier women. It is a slow but steady progress toward complete inclusivity. Plus-size brands have long been the pioneers for change in the fashion industry. Unfortunately, one popular brand is being accused of false representations in their recent campaign.

Plus-Size Brand Simply Be Is Criticized After Releasing “Misleading” Ads

Simply Be
Simply Be is known for stocking sizes 12 to 32, a rare move for retail stores. To help push the popularity of this UK-based retailer forward, they came up with the “We Are Curves” campaign. However, the company is certainly not getting the reaction they expected. There has been an uproar of angry commenters in social media following the campaign’s release. 
Simply Be’s new ad campaign features a bevy of curvy models including British sensation Iskra Lawrence. The photos feature the women in gorgeous sunset backdrops as they pose in a variety of stylish shirts, jean jackets, and shorts. While the ads are undeniably stunning, the main thing that has irked Twitter users was the brand’s decision to use purely hourglass-type models in an attempt to represent body diversity.

“Where’s the diversity?”

Simple Be's new campaign ad

Many took to Twitter to lament their dismay over the company. They criticized its narrow representation of plus-size women and accused the company of only highlighting models with conventional bodies. Twitter user Naomi Griffiths wrote,

“Latest @SimplyBeUK campaign dropped in my inbox a few days ago, and it irritated me the moment I saw it. More I see it, the more angry I am. This latest campaign ‘We Are Curves’ or whatever is the epitome of taking ‘body positivity’ as a strap line but not really understanding it.”

In the United States, the average woman is from a size 12 to 14 while most women in the United Kingdom start at size 16.  

Interestingly enough, Iskra Lawrence has commented on a similar issue back in 2016. She asked for more fashion brands to treat women equally while adding, “If you’re a U.K. 16 and over, you can’t generally shop at the same stores. And you definitely can’t shop the same collections. You have to shop in a basement or online. You are not treated equally; you’re excluded from fashion.”


In response to the backlash, Simply Be issues a statement, claiming that they continue to celebrate “all different shapes and sizes in the way that our customers are all different shapes and sizes.”

To conclude, while body positivity continues to be encouraged by big brands and popular models, the use of the term plus-size in fashion seems rather stuck to one description. Plus-size should be universal, it should embody a variety of shapes, sizes, and even genders.

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