Friday, April 23, 2010

Lane Bryant AD Controversy

In her first exclusive television interview, plus-size model Ashley Graham said she was shocked to learn ABC and FOX could not handle her bust in a new underwear commercial, banning the ad from the air.

"They told me it was too much skin," said the size-16 beauty.

Lane Bryant, the plus-size women's clothing retailer, released a statement through their blog "Inside Curve," accusing the networks of attempting to define beauty by denying the new commercial from airing freely.

Graham thinks prejudice against women with curves might be in the play.

"The Victoria's Secret girls can flaunt around their panties all day long, " she said. "But when there's a bigger woman with a little bit extra, they snipped it out immediately."

A source at Lane Bryant agreed: "The cleavage of the plus-size model, they said, was excessive, and we don't think that's the case. It certainly appears to be discrimination against full-sized women."

The 25 second ad shows curvy Graham striking a series of sexy poses in Lane Bryant underwear, including different color bras after she is shown texting a boyfriend, “CALL DAN FOR LUNCH.” She leaves the house apparently on the way to see lucky Dan wearing only the underwear and a long overcoat – and nothing more.

A voiceover says: "Mom always said beauty is skin deep. Somehow, I don't think this is what Mom had in mind."

The ad ends by voicing the company’s new catch phrase, “Nobody fits you like the new Lane Bryant.”

(Note: The above photographs are screen captures from the actual commercial.)

According to Lane Bryant, ABC refused to show the commercial during "Dancing with the Stars" without restricting their airtime to the final moments of the show, while Fox demanded excessive re-edits and rebuffed it three times before relenting to air it during the final 10 minutes of "American Idol."

"The majority of women in American are my size, 12, 14, 16," Graham said. "They want to see themselves on television."

"We knew the ads were sexy, but they are not salacious. Our new commercials represent the sensuality of the curvy woman who has more to show the world than the typical waif-like lingerie model,” a Lane Bryant spokesman said. "What we didn't know was that the networks, which regularly run Victoria's Secret and Playtex advertising on the very shows from which we're restricted, would object to a different view of beauty."

ABC reportedly denied any wrongdoing and said that they "were willing to accommodate them, but they chose to seek publicity.”

I think the only conclusion possible is that there is a definite double-standard in place. Plus size women are not viewed in the same way as thin or thinner women by the networks. It’s sad and infuriating. However, it will never change unless women speak out against this type of abject prejudice. Boycott networks, advertisers or any organizations that refuses to value all women, and to depict them more realistically and compassionately.

Watch the commercial and judge for yourself.

— The Curator

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