Just when you thought that 2017 was the most progressive year for inclusivity, something comes along to remind you that diversity is still a foreign land not yet fully explored.
For example, when fashion retailer ASOS made headlines for refusing to edit their model’s stretch marks, the world was too busy focusing on the fact that Victoria’s Secret had yet again failed to employ a plus-size model for their annual fashion show. However, while there are those that argue in favor of Victoria’s Secret’s decision, there is nobody willing to defend this retailer’s monumental mistake… The advertisement depicts two thin models, who appear to have been plucked directly from the monotonous catwalk, demonstrating the stretch capabilities of a pair of plus-size tights. They flaunt the extra room available in the tights by using their hands to push the material to its limit, in a move which many have slammed for the way in which it degrades plus-size women. The advert instantly caused controversy online as outraged people voiced their opinion on the misjudged shoot. “So, nobody actually thought this was an awful way to advertise these ‘plus size tights’ during the meeting? Nobody?” wrote one bemused Twitter user. “This is honestly so rude. Like just hire plus-size models to wear tights….. don’t make a mockery of the size of the tights by putting a skinny model in them and having them put It around their entire body,” wrote another perplexed person, while another simply typed: “Fire the whole team.” But, just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the budget online retailer, it did. It later transpired that the controversial images had been stolen from another retailer who’d used them to advertise their ‘Magic Tights’ – tights which don’t break no matter what you do to them.
Clearly oblivious to their customer’s feelings, Wish.com used the questionable shots to demonstrate the functionality of their plus-size tights. Not only was it a totally misjudged move, but also brazen false advertisement. However, it would appear that the shocking nature of the advert didn’t totally deter custom for Wish.com. At $2.67 a pair, the tights had been a clear success, with many happy customers leaving glowing reviews of the product. Although, users online were less kind. “It’s body shaming. Plain and simple as the minds who came up with this,” wrote one disgraced user in response to the online uproar over the images. “I know where my online Christmas shopping will NOT be sourced. Hello, every retailer except Wish.com!,” typed another. Meanwhile, other users were mildly amused by the blunder. “I think it’s quite funny, and I’m a plus sized person, I don’t have an issue with it,” wrote one woman, while another simply typed: “It’s advertising genius. Look at all the attention it’s getting!” It’s true, Wish.com had inadvertently invited the world to come and browse their stocked virtual shelves. Those who’d never heard of the budget online retailer were suddenly browsing through the site, adding items to their basket. Conveniently, the scandal hit headlines just before the Christmas shopping surge. After all, they do say that all news is good news, especially for business. So, should we be angry that Wish.com is using the delicate topic of the human body to push sales? Or, do you think it was simply a mistake that they’re lucky to have survived?