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Pinterest Stops Weight Loss Posts
Social media platform Pinterest has announced it will no longer posts ads featuring testimonials about weight loss or weight loss products, or ads referencing body mass index. "This stance makes Pinterest the only major platform to prohibit all weight loss ads," the company said in a statement. "It’s an expansion of our ad policies that have long prohibited body shaming and dangerous weight loss products or claims. We encourage others in the industry to do the same and acknowledge, once and for all, that there's no such thing as one-size-fits-all. " The policy change, developed with the assistance of The National Eating Disorders Association, will still allow ads that promote healthy lifestyles and habits or fitness services and products under the condition that there is no focus on weight loss. "NEDA applauds Pinterest for taking a leadership position as the first platform to prohibit all ads with weight-loss language and imagery," says Elizabeth Thompson, Interim chief executive officer, National Eating Disorders Association. "NEDA is encouraged by this necessary step in prioritizing the mental health and well-being of Pinners, especially those impacted by diet culture, body shaming, and eating disorders. We are hopeful this global policy will encourage other organizations and companies to reflect on potentially harmful ad messages and to establish their own working policies that will create meaningful change."
Fashion Companies Channel Change
Last week, some fashion brands have made the news for changing its approach to customer feedback. Most notable is Victoria's Secret, who have announced the debut of The VS Collective, which will work will celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Megan Rapinoe, Paloma Elsesser and other "accomplished women who share a common passion to drive positive change." Is that enough for the brand who took a long time to acknowledge its problem with inclusivity and when newer brands like Savage x Fenty and ThirdLove embraced it? While the brand has waned in popularity, its sales remained strong and a possible reason why VS dragged its feet updating its brand. Next is Thinx, which has revamped its plus size line of period underwear. The company, who faced criticism from customers who were dissatisfied with the brand's sizing, revisited its range and tested on a number of body types to get a better sense of fit. The testing was extensive, about two years in the making but Thinx now have garments in size XS to 4X. Is investing in change worth it? When Lane Bryant wanted to improve its online presence (and sales) it worked with e-commerce platform Bluecore to come up with a strategy. According to a case study (sent via Retail Next), Lane Bryant increased online engagement which led to sales. In short, yes, listen to the customers. Especially when they're asking for the change.
Dia & Co Names New COO
Extended size subscription brand Dia & Co has named Valerie Hoecke as its new chief operating officer, according to Bizwoman.com. Hoecke will be responsible for the day-to-day execution across all teams at Dia & Co. She will have a hand in translating Dia’s mission, vision, and brand direction of industry-wide size inclusivity into a company-wide strategy. Before Dia & Co., Hoecke was the global chief digital officer for LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics, leading e-commerce and digital acceleration for 16 brands.
Can We Get a "Halston" Spin-off About Pat Ast?
The Netflix limited series "Halston" debuted this weekend. Starring Ewan McGregor as the title character, the mini-series followed the life of famed designer's Roy Halston's life in fashion and the spotlight. Produced by Christine Vachon, who worked with McGregor on the '90s cult film Velvet Goldmine and written by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, co-creators, "Glee," the mini-series showcased the decadence that swirled around the designer's life. Some storylines were based from the biography pubiished in 1991, some were created for the show. However, one storyline was not just true but legendary. A memorable part of "Halston" was the entrance of Pat Ast, a saleswoman at the boutique and as part of the Halston entourage. This part was true: Ast was a pioneer as plus-size model for the "Halstonettes." The designer was one of the first to have an inclusive roster of models including Pat Cleveland, Beverly Johnson and Angelica Huston. Ast was also an actress who appeared in movies including Midnight Cowboy, Heat and Reform School Girls. “My secret is, I’m so fucking fat, if I look good in Halston’s clothes, anyone will," says Shawna Hamic (as Ast) the biopic. Here's hoping we get a biopic of Ast ASAP. Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.
"The Chubby One:" Child Stars and Fatphobia
Last week, musician Ray Reyes passed away suddenly at age 51. He was best known as a member of Menudo from 1983-1985, at the height of the boy band's popularity worldwide. Reyes was also a member of Protecyo M and performed with former members of Menudo for multiple reunion tours. During his days in Menudo, Reyes fell under a category not usually delegated in boy band camps. There's the popular one, the bad boy, but Reyes was the "chubby" one. Legend has it that the nickname was given to him by the band's management who placed Reyes on a diet as his weight fluctuated, which is common for a 13-year-old but practically against the law in the boy-band world.
As Reyes got older and performed reunion tours with Lozada, Farrait, plus ex-Menudo members Charlie Rivera, Ricky Melendez and Miguel Cancel, he gained weight. The comments on social media from fans were harsh. Despite fans' criticism about Reyes' appearances, the reunion tours were successful.
While young women with the slightest fame are forced to go under the public microscope from the public, it's rare when young men in the limelight go under the same scrutiny. But with the advent of social media, more people are comfortable commenting on another person's physical appearance without consequence, and Reyes was no exception. Look no further than recent comments about Zac Efron or Will Smith's respective physical changes. The public demands famous people from our youth to stay forever young, a demand that we can't do for ourselves. Even when celebrities try to fight the aging process with plastic surgery, the feedback from the public usually isn't kind. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.
Reyes' legacy is his music, which brought joy to his fans who supported him no matter what. May we learn to be kinder to the idols of our youth, for they go through changes just like us.
The Shade Room Adds 'House'
Social media news channel The Shade Room has announced "Thick House" a competition show to find the newest plus size models, according to Deadline. Model and "America's Next Top Model" contestant Toccara Jones will host the show, with celebrity stylist EJ King and fashion blogger/stylist Kelly Augustine as judges. "Thick House" will host seven plus size models who will compete amongst each other as they grow a stronger fan base online. Guests include actor Amber Riley. Premiering May 16 at 4pm EST on Facebook Watch, "Thick House" is part of Facebook Watch’s We the Culture programming slate, which is aimed at amplifying the voices of Black content creators.
Plus Size Influencers Launch Apparel Lines
In the wake of a certain’s celebrity’s dalliance with fashion and established designers like Versace and Dolce & Gabbana extending its size ranges, a few longtime contributors to (and champions of) the plus size community have launched new size-inclusive clothing lines. Model Zack Miko, who collaborated with apparel company Kingsize for a swimwear line. Meekos’ capsule collection goes up to a 9XL. “I loved the water and loved to swim but going to the pool or beach was torture because I could feel what I was sure was everyone’s eyes on me,” wrote Miko in an Instagram post. “This brand is for everyone who has ever felt that way.” Television personality Nina Parker has released a plus-size collection with Macy’s. It’s the first time the department store has launched a plus size line with a Black designer. Sizes range from 16W to 24W, with clothing to make customers "...like they matter like they are a bad bitch," says Parker. "I want them to feel bossy like they can walk in a room, and everybody will take notice." Influencer and editor Renee Cafaro is launching RCA Public Label, a ready-to-wear line in sizes 16-32. A portion of RCA’s proceeds will go to charities benefitting women/POC in business. There will be a presale of her line starting May 3 with 11 Honore. To sign up for the presale, email email@example.com. Photo credits: Photo @pk_creates Hair @weareyeluchi MUA @avamakeup Models by Dorothy Combs Agency Liris Crosse and Shelby Fetterman
Is This Our New (Body-Posi) King?
In the recent issue of GQ, DJ Khaled talked about his capsule collection with Dolce & Gabbana, which will go up to an Italian size 60 (an estimated size 50 in U.S. conversion). The one-time WW ambassador shared his wellness routine, maintaining his weight, and his reaction to those who think he should be thinner despite working out on a regular basis. Readers, get ready for a new body-positive mantra: "What I learned in life is, like, I'm beautiful. And people sometimes joke on me like, 'Yo, Khaled, you've been working out your whole life, and you don't lose no weight.' I say, 'First of all, that’s because I don't lose. I win.' All I do is win." Wow. It's so on-brand for the celebrity It uses his catchphrase while while clapping back. Khaled did address how he works out for his overall well being, not just for vanity. "When you see me working out, it's not just to get some pounds off. It goes back to what we were saying—when you work out and you eat good, it gives you the glow. I'm not always working out just to get rid of weight. Sometimes yes, I do, and I do get rid of the weight. But then it comes back, like a normal human being. And then you got to get rid of it again." Are you ready to welcome DJ Khaled when he accepts his new title as body positivity king?
"The Yes" App Adds Plus Sizes
AI-powered fashion shopping app "The Yes" will expand its plus-size range to 40 size-inclusive fashion brands, including 11 Honoré, Universal Standard, Levi’s, Madewell, Aritzia and Tanya Taylor. According to Forbes, the expansion will carry several categories of apparel, including athleisure, denim, dresses and workwear. "The Yes" app matches the user’s cart to their personal style and size. With the size extension, "The Yes" aims to normalize size inclusivity to have it a part of the shopping experience
Five Years of Strutter
Well, a milestone snuck up on Strutter. We launched as a news site five years ago this month! For the next week, Strutter is revisiting some of its most popular stories of the past five years. First up, "Why Does the 'No Fat Chicks' Bumper Sticker Still Exist?' Apr. 13: Lizzo Heads to Amazon Apr. 14: Why did this go under the radar everywhere else? James Rhee Leaves Ashley Stewart Apr. 15: Yr Fat Friend Reveals Her Name
Opinion: Lena Dunham is Not a Plus Size Ally
Today, The New York Times ran an interview with producer Lena Dunham about her upcoming apparel collaboration with plus size retailer 11 Honore for a high-end fashion line. The reason for this collaboration is because Dunham, who has been criticized for her past fashion choices, saw what the Times called "a hole in the market." OH REALLY?! Did Dunham recently discover that 70 percent of women can't find clothing in their size? That retailers are moving their plus size lines from retail to online, or removing them entirely? No. This is a rather personal calling for Dunham: "Right now the only thing I'm doing is speaking about my own experience, so this clothing line is a direct response to my experience," she says to the Times. Right, because Tiny Furniture or "Girls" weren't responses to her experiences that earned her international recognition that many talented but less connected people are denied. Despite Dunham's multiple interviews throughout the years eschewing the plus size phrase, her recent health issues have made her more sympathetic to the body positivity movement. According to the story, she had to steroids to help her partial adrenal insufficiently (a side effect of COVID-19). Still, when the news of her collaboration with 11 Honore broke, the feedback wasn't so welcoming. Many critics have referred to allegations of abuse regarding her sister in her autobiography, or her denial of an actor's sexual assault, as reasons not to support this collaboration. Then there are those who resent her newest platform in fashion category she refused to aligned herself with. But as she says in the interview, the 11 Honore clothing line is a direct response to her not finding suitable clothing. You know, like 70 percent of women in the U.S. have experienced for years. If Dunham was truly filling a void in the plus size retail market, why didn't she use her celebrity to empower a new plus size designer for this collaboration? Because it was never about the plus size community. It's about her.
Report: COVID Closed 30% of Plus Size Retail Shops
Earlier today, plus size clothing brand Dia & Co. released its State of Inclusive Fashion Report for 2020. The year is proving to be a one for the record books, especially in the plus size industry. While 2020 was a watershed year for inclusivity, there was less options for the plus-size shopper, especially for in-store clothing availability. “With a smaller base of retail options to begin with, the plus-size market, serving 67% of women in America, has been particularly hard hit leaving our consumer with a retail desert," says Nadia Boujarwah, founder and chief executive officer, Dia & Co, According to the report, more than 30% of plus-size shops closed its door permanently during 2020. The report states that the retail market will close while online retail will expand in the plus size sector. "COVID’s impact on the market and e-commerce, especially, represent a growing opportunity in the category," states the report. Read more of Dia & Co.'s report here.