Size discrimination. The final frontier.
From mainstream media to how people treat us in everyday life, far too many people still judge us women by the number on the scale and our clothing labels.
You would think in the tolerant 21st century we would have to put up with less and less of this crap, but sadly, this is not the case.
This became sadly evident in a recent 30-second Lane Bryant commercial that was banned from the airwaves by both ABC and NBC:
Starring SI cover girl Ashley Graham, new mom Tara Lynn, Denise Bidot, Georgia Pratt, and Precious Lee, this ad features plus-size models, rolls, curves and all. They boldly proclaim what their bodies allow them to do while they nurse babies, kick box, do yoga, and sport denim in stiletto heels. From wearing flowing dresses to nothing at all, these women are celebrating Lane Bryant’s #ThisBody campaign.
It should be a celebration of all bodies, but instead, ABC has flat-out refused to run the ad. NBC won’t air the spot either, citing that the ad doesn’t meet the FCC’s “broadcast indecency guidelines.”
What’s the big deal? Why should you care?
This just goes to show that size discrimination continues to be real. OK, I get this ad isn’t appropriate for daytime TV. But let’s face it—network TV has thrown us far worse. From Paris Hilton or Charlotte McKinney selling Carl’s Jr. burgers to famous vegans stripping down for PETA, advertisers always use women who wear less than these five models to hawk their wares. But a size 16 woman?! Apparently the double standard is very real. And very not cool.
The commercial depicts very normal-sized women just like us. Lane Bryant does still have a long way to go in diversity (all the models are 14/16 and hourglass shaped), but since the average American woman is a size 14, what is it specifically that ABC and NBC object? Why shouldn’t all bodies be celebrated? Are they trying to alienate a key demographic?
What does your body allow you to do? I love this ad’s message because it celebrates our bodies’ victories no matter what the size. My size 18/20 body was made to run 5Ks, do yoga, and love this one life I have.
You have the power to make your voice heard. There are a few things you can do to make your voice heard on this subject:
- Contact your local ABC and NBC affiliates via social media to voice your opinion.
- Thank CBS for keeping a more open mind and allowing the commercial to air.
- Get in touch with Lane Bryant to let them know you support their message of love at any size and their #ThisBody campaign.
- Support Lane Bryant with your business.
- Don’t let this be a one-and-done headline. Keep this topic of discrimination in advertising alive by discussions with your friends and family.
While this may seem like a trivial topic, it is sad two of the major three networks have intentionally decided not to air this commercial. It shows women whose size is very much the norm and it carries a message of empowerment. However, ABC and NBC have decided to cite vague obscenity laws to mask blatant size description. In the end, we, the plus-size community, lose out because our voices and images continue to be underrepresented and ignored altogether.
What do you think about the video? Are NBC and ABC being discriminatory? Comment below!