Many Americans are concerned about the way the fashion industry promotes a less-than-healthy female body image, especially at a time when up to 24 million people in the United States suffer from an eating disorder.
Victoria’s Secret, for example, has been criticized over its “Perfect Body” campaign, and many Americans have called for more pro-body image ads to empower women to be comfortable in their own skin.
Some believe Calvin Klein must have missed the memo on that one.
The fashion giant signed the 27-year-old size 10 model Myla Dalbesio for their new lingerie ad campaign (although New York Magazine believes she’s closer to a size 8) meant to “celebrate and cater to the needs of different women” with photos “intended to communicate that our new line is more inclusive and available in several silhouettes in an extensive range of sizes.”
Twitter erupted immediately, as did the media, outraged that Dalbesio was Calvin Klein’s newest plus-size model.
While it is, of course, outrageous for anyone to assume that size 10 (or 8) is “plus-size”, here’s the thing: Calvin Klein has never called her “plus size”.
And they’re just a few.
As Dalbesio confirmed and TIME reported, “the brand made a big step forward here by putting a model who would otherwise be cast in the ‘plus-size’ category in an industry with serious body-perspective issues, into their ‘normal’ campaign.”
The problem here doesn’t lie with Calvin Klein—it lies with other companies who have booked her as an outright plus-size model. It lies with the ingrained mentality that some women believe that normal-sized is too big.
Still, none of this excludes Calvin Klein from the responsibility to use models of all sizes in their campaigns. It just means that the public will be watching more closely.