Seen one lingerie campaign, seen them all. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not that we’re tired of seeing models with perfectly chiseled bodies posing in beautiful, lacy underwear. It’s more the subtly negative message they seem to be sending - sexy undies are just for the body beautiful. Well, step forward lingerie brand Curvy Kate whose advertising campaign is pushing out an entirely different message.
The British brand have been quietly championing the body positive for quite some time, but their campaign for their latest collection, Scantilly, takes things to a whole new level and gives a much needed hit of diversity in the lingerie industry.
Shunning professional lingerie models, the campaign named #TheNewSexy, has instead enlisted eight powerful female role models, including a transgender woman, an amputee, an alopecia sufferer, a plus size blogger and a recovered anorexic.
Transgender model ‘Effie’
A recent report by The Fashion Spot revealed that out of 422 models involved in the biggest spring summer 2016 campaigns, only 21.8% were of colour, 1.4% were above a size 12 and no transgender models were used at all.
Curvy Kate hopes to change that by featuring female models of all shapes, backgrounds and sizes to help break down boundaries in the fashion industry and redefine how society views the word ‘sexy.’
Since the brand’s launch in 2009, it has never featured professional models in it’s campaigns, choosing instead to celebrate it’s customers and scout ‘real’ women on social media.
Recovering anorexic Megan
Speaking about the idea behind the Scantilly campaign Head of PR and Marketing, Hannah Isichei said “It is important for us as a brand to speak to as many women as possible through our campaigns. We know our customers don’t all look the same so why should our models?”
“Why should boudoir lingerie just be reserved for a handful of society? We want women to look at our products and see them on a body they can relate to. Scantilly lingerie is for every woman and every body, so it’s important that our models reflect this attitude.”
Alopecia sufferer Therese
Stephania Van Cluysen, known as ‘Effie’, from Belgium, was born a male, but now lives as a female after undergoing gender reassignment surgery in 2015. The 21-year-old says growing up was ‘difficult’ due to years of abuse, ridicule and bullying, but having at last found her body confidence Effie was keen to take part in the inspiring campaign.
“Not everyone should look the same and if they did there wouldn’t be a ‘sexy’. We need a mix of people,” she says.
“Everybody has the right to feel okay with themselves and if the media show a wide range of women - different races, heights, sizes, ages and abilities then the girls looking at the models in the magazines and wishing to be them, will feel way more at ease with who they are. If they see someone who looks like them, they may be less likely to want to change.”
Taylor hasn’t let losing a leg hold her back
Another of the models featured in the diverse campaign is Taylor Crisp, from Leicester, who is an amputee. Born with Femur Fibula Ulna syndrome, a condition characterized by abnormalities in the bones in the leg, Taylor had to have her leg amputated at age 11. Now at 21, she’s keen to play her part in upping the representation of disabled people in the media.
“I was taught from a young age that [my leg] shouldn’t hold me back,” she says. “There are so many different people out there; people who are different aren’t a minority because everyone is different. It took a while to realise but I’m really happy with who I am. You need to learn to ignore the people who try and bring you down and just rise above it.”
Therese Hansson, a 25-year-old sufferer of alopecia, also decided to take part in the shoot to prove that being different shouldn’t hold her back.
“People who have Alopecia tend to hide it by wearing wigs, but we need to embrace it so other people understand and accept it,” she explained.
Plus size blogger, Grace rocking her sexy undies
In taking part in the campaign, recovered anorexic, Megan Jayne Crabbe hopes to prove that her body demons are truly behind her. Megan, 23, who suffered with Anorexia Nervosa from the age of 14, has been blogging about her experiences at ‘BodyPosiPanda’. Megan, who at her thinnest weighed just 4st 6lbs now encourages her followers to be happy with their bodies by posting bikini and ‘belly roll’ pictures of herself.
“I think we learn how to view ourselves through the eyes of the media and we judge ourselves against everything we see and that’s why so many people think they have to match to up to this unrealistic and often photo-shopped standards. The easiest way we can accept ourselves is by seeing a body like ours out there. That’s why this campaign is so needed.”
Other models featured include Georgina Horne, a plus-sized blogger, Joanne Larby, a size 12 fitness blogger and Grace Victory, a plus size YouTube vlogger.
All Photos - Curvy Kate
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