Calvin Klein's new model is NOT plus-sized, sorry!
Calvin Klein is trying to make an effort to advertise to curvy girls, but the new campaign for Calvin Klein's "Perfectly Fit" underwear line just doesn't make the cut. The black and white ads feature brunette model Myla Dalbesio, who is a size 10. That in itself is pretty "life changing" in the fashion industry, but calling her "plus-sized" is absurd when the average woman rocks a size 12 or 14 panty or thong. This mislabeling doesn't deserve any props. Now beautiful size 10 women have to walk around thinking they're plus-sized? I don't think so.
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Now I get that this is very different from him featuring Zoe Saldana or Eva Mendes in his underwear ads, which he's done in the past. Yes, they're Latina and I won't knock them for getting a billboard ad in Manhattan, but no one actually looks like Zoe and Eva. Come on. "Look they're Latinas rocking CK! Buy our stuff" is the same as "Look at this size 10 lady who is just like you! Buy our stuff!" What they miss is that that's not the case--at all.
The 27-year-old model reacted to the controversy and released the following statement:
I love that after working in the fashion industry for nine years, I have finally found my place, right in the middle. Neither plus, nor straight size, I love that I can be recognized for what I am, a healthy size 10.
I love that I get to be a part of this conversation, about size and body image and that I get to represent a brand like Calvin Klein. They didn't introduce this campaign for shock value, they simply included what some would refer to as a "normal size" girl in their advertising, right next to other girls of varying sizes and shapes.
Calvin Klein also released a statement, which tries to clarify the company's intentions:
The new Calvin Klein Underwear Perfectly Fit imagery features models Myla Dalbesio, Jourdan Dunn, Amanda Wellsh, Ji Hye Park and the face of the brand, Lara Stone, in several styles. The Perfectly Fit line was created to celebrate and cater to the needs of different women, and these images are intended to communicate that our new line is more inclusive and available in several silhouettes in an extensive range of sizes.
I think the model should be proud of her body, but like she said "she's in the middle." She's no Kate Moss, but she isn't plus-sized either. Calvin Klein totally missed the point too. It's not about advertising to different women, but how you do it. Would he ever feature real plus-sized women on his campaigns? Probably not and that's a sad fact.
The moment we stop labeling average women as "fat" then the fashion industry could be proud about featuring "diverse women" in their campaigns.
Image via Calvin Klein