Article by Emma Christiantelli | esPResso Staff Writer
Lane Bryant, one of America’s leading plus-size clothing retailers, recently announced its revolutionary spring campaign titled #ImNoAngel. The advertisement features six plus-size models lined up and sporting the brand’s Cacique lingerie line. The photo draws clear comparisons to a recent ad released by Victoria’s Secret, titled “The Perfect Body,” which features a line of pencil-thin, lingerie-clad models. Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign aims to counteract this ad, endorsing the notion that there is no such thing as the perfect body. Every woman can be sexy—no matter her size.
According to a press release issued by Lane Bryant in early April, the not-so-subtle anti-Victoria’s Secret ad and social media campaign seeks to redefine the meaning of sexy in society today. It will do so on television, in print, on billboards and public transportation, as well as in Lane Bryant stores and throughout its social media platforms. Additionally, the brand invites women across America to join in the #ImNoAngel movement with a selfie that showcases their own idea of sexy. Using the campaign hashtag, the brand is encouraging viewers to post selfies with ‘I’m No Angel’ written on a mirror on their own social media accounts. Lane Bryant has also dedicated a section of its website to sharing these photos, dubbed “Share Your Sexy.”
In the brand’s press release, Linda Heasley, chief executive and president of the retailer, explains the meaning behind the campaign. “Our ‘#ImNoAngel’ campaign is designed to empower ALL women to love every part of herself. Lane Bryant firmly believes that she is sexy and we want to encourage her to confidently show it, in her own way.”
The entire #ImNoAngel campaign is focused on changing the conversation of beauty in today’s media. By increasing the exposure to unedited, natural bodies of different sizes and shapes, Lane Bryant proves that there is no single definition of ‘sexy.’ The brand ultimately seeks to inspire women to be their own definition, blazing the trail for challenging conventional beauty standards in the media.
Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign demonstrates the power of consumer interaction. By inviting its fans across America to participate in the movement and share those moments on the brand’s website, Lane Bryant is enhancing its reputation and establishing itself as a consumer-oriented brand.
However, as with any reaction-based campaign, Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel movement has sparked negative feedback. Some critics, for example, have accused the brand of skinny-shaming. Others on social media have criticized the brand for being unoriginal and merely repurposing a competitor’s materials.
Callie Parmele, a senior at Marist College, would agree with these criticisms and believes that the brand’s #ImNoAngel campaign falls short. “Through this campaign, Lane Bryant is trying to empower plus-size women by depreciating the beauty of skinnier woman,” Parmele states. “Heasley’s statement says that the idea is for all women to love their bodies, but they are failing to spread the confidence. All women can be confident, but this campaign is trying to give confidence to plus-size women by demeaning ‘angel’ body types.”
Overall, despite its shortcomings, Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign has certainly sustained the conversation about beauty in the media, challenging the norm. Above all, the brand encourages women to embrace their bodies with confidence, self-love and most importantly, respect.