Earlier this February, Sports Illustrated announced that a plus-size model would grace the pages of their magazine, but coming in at just a size 12, she isn't as inclusive as you might think. In fact, the average clothing size for American women is a 14.
Employees of women's retailer ModCloth created their own swimwear ads to prove that all body types can look good in a swimsuit, even if Sports Illustrated hasn't gotten around to featuring them just yet.
Though the company planned to release the campaign in March, they just couldn't wait any longer.
"When we saw the situation that was happening with Sports Illustrated, we thought, OK, she's a size 12, but 50 percent of women are wearing over a size 16," Nancy Ramamurthi, Chief Marketing Officer, told A+ in an email. "And we had this fabulous campaign showing how swimsuits look great on bodies of all sizes."
The women featured in the photos work at ModCloth, a body-positive brand that signed an "anti-thigh gap" pledge last August and love that their job entails helping women feel good about their bodies.
"We're just trying to do the right thing, it's one small step at a time. And I think the industry is starting to change, and we're happy to be at the forefront," Ramamurthi said.
Though obesity is an epidemic in the U.S. — more than one third of all American adults are obese — studies have proven that size is not an appropriate indicator of overall health. And shaming women, or setting unrealistic expectations of what they should look like, is not only wrong, but can cause women serious health problems.
Christen DiClaudio, ModCloth's Merchandise Copy Editor, agrees. She did the campaign because she wanted other women to know they have the right to love their bodies, even if they don't look like the images in the media — or even Sports Illustrated.
"Self-acceptance isn't something you have to earn, it's something you deserve just because you're alive," she told A+.