Zara, you just proved that the term “curvy” can’t replace “plus size”.
Your recent advertisement seen in a store in London caused quite a stir on Twitter and we can see why.
— Millie Faulkner (@MillieatLRC) February 15, 2017
I assume Zara is doing irony. pic.twitter.com/8BAomw5Yy8
— Just John (@emptyjamjar) February 28, 2017
ZARA DO YOU KNOW WHAT CURVES ARE pic.twitter.com/NjJaPnCNx2
— MattMo (@mattmodeterding) February 28, 2017
You had people baffled because your use of the word “curvy” alongside two visibly thin models was confusing, even though we understand that this may have been an attempt to show some body positivity in an advertisement. It was a miss on your part, though because it would have been a great opportunity to open your brand up to a myriad of women of different shapes and sizes.
On another note… while, yes, anyone can be curvy, no matter what their size, you just proved our point that the term cannot replace “plus size” so we thank you on that front.
Read more: Is The Term “Plus Size” a Bad Thing?
So many models have said they don’t want to be referred to as “plus size” and would much rather be described as “curvy”.
However, in the modeling world, it’s all about size because of sample sizes and the business in general.
Plus size means size and is not a shape. Curvy is.
THIS IS exactly why we have to keep the term “plus size” as an industry term. It helps us know where to shop. It helps in describing clothing on a model (by stating her height and size worn) and it distinguishes between model sizes.
The models in your advertisement do have some curves but they are visibly thinner than what we are used to seeing in curvy bodies. Plus, the fact that you don’t offer plus sizes – that just makes this advertisement seem odd and triggering to most people.
Here’s what “curvy” looks to us:
And here’s what plus size looks to us – still curvy but plus size:
Yes, we should ALL love our curves but perhaps if you showed more body diversity in your ads, your slogan might be more believable to people, especially average size-14/16 women who are not as thin as the models in your current ad.
You should take a look at recent ads from Lane Bryant, where women of different shapes and sizes are shown. Better yet, why not offer plus sizes? And when we say “plus sizes”, we mean up to at least a size 24 and 3X. There is a demand for it and plus sizes have proven to be a moneymaker.
Plus size fashionistas often cite Zara as one of THE brands they’d love to shop if their size was offered. Just listen to Nike, who just launched their own plus size line recently, using a set of models that are diverse in size and shape – JUST DO IT.
Sincerely, PLUS Model Magazine