Home / News / These 3 Corporations Rake in Billions by Body-Shaming Women, But Others Are Getting With the Times

These 3 Corporations Rake in Billions by Body-Shaming Women, But Others Are Getting With the Times

Photo Credit: Victoria’s Secret

Sex sells, as they say. Another good way to sell a product? Make people feel terrible about themselves.

The beauty and conform industries have awakened rather in new years to the predicament of widespread body-shaming in advertising. Some storefront mannequins are a little closer to imitative the physique of the normal American; repository covers have partly deserted their manifestoes to “stop aging” and help women grasp “bikini bodies.” And farrago has increased; images of models like Winnie Harlow and Nyakim Gatwech can be seen intoxicated opposite transport cars and makeup counters.

But some companies still exclude to get with the times. Major companies continue to hillside in millions by body-shaming women and using subconscious messaging about adapting to prescriptive standards of beauty.


It’s vicious to note that while some brands have recently incited against body-shaming practices, it’s an intensely new phenomenon. Plenty of the products that explain to support physique positivity by focusing on health and empowerment still built their platforms by decades of selling messages that banked on women wanting to change their bodies. The repairs has been done, in other words. And while magazines may be expelling phrases like “get bikini ready” and “drop two sizes,” their silken covers mostly still include, as Greatist writes, “plenty of other phrases (‘3-minute fat blasters’ and ‘go to bed 35, arise up 25’) to make us feel not so good about the skin we’re in.”

Body degrading is all around us. Here are 3 of the misfortune corporate shamers, and 3 that are starting to get it right.

1. Lululemon (revenue: $1.8 billion in 2015)

Many have criticized jaunty code Lululemon for equating health with skinniness and for actively troublesome anyone from selling at its stores who can’t fit into a distance 8 or under. A 2012 petition on Change.org tried to vigour Lululemon to furnish plus-size options to no relief (the normal American lady wears a distance 14; Lululemon’s products only go up to 12). The anti-fat enlightenment at the code was clearly bred from the top down: founder Chip Wilson stepped down in 2013 after publically acknowledging that “some women’s bodies just don’t actually work” for some of the brand’s clothing. But his bequest lives on in some of his employees who have been accused of fat-shaming business several times this year (in Park City, Utah and in Ohio). As one sell branding consultant told the Huffington Post, “They hatred diseased living, and for better or worse, plus-size people aren’t enclosed in that. Lululemon is very picture conscious. That’s because women are shelling out $100 for a span of pants they could get at Target for $20.”

2. Bauer Media (revenue: 2.3 billion euros in 2015)

The media company owns tabloids like InTouch, a weekly publication that engages frequently in luminary body-shaming, like the time the repository accused Kate Middleton of looking too skinny while she was profound with her first child. Bauer done headlines progressing this year after actor Rebel Wilson successfully sued the company for defamation. So, not a rarely convincing news source to contend the least.  

3. Victoria’s Secret (revenue: $12.6 billion in 2016) 

Credit: Dazed

The brand, owned by L Brands, is best famous by many for its ambassadors, the “Angels,” who don’t embody a singular plus-size indication among their numbers. It’s not a outrageous warn that Victoria’s Secret advertises slip using a bizarre multiple of physique degrading and propping up the male gaze. “The Perfect Body” campaign, for example, which featured all skinny and light-skinned women, received heated critique when it was released.

And here are 3 that are getting it right (or at slightest trying to).

1. Mattel

The strange 1959 Barbie Doll and her impossible-to-achieve waistline are corpse of the past. In 2016, the fondle company expelled a collection of Barbie dolls that are much some-more thorough of the physique types, skin colors and ethnicities that make up American women today. The 2016 Barbie Fashionistas collection includes 4 physique forms (including 3 new ones: “petite,” “curvy” and “tall” — progress is slow, people), as good as 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and 7 skin tones (that’s a bit some-more like it!).

2. Sports Illustrated (owned by Time Inc.)

The swimsuit book of the male-focused repository always creates a splash, but the 2016 cover choice hit home for physique positivity proponents. It featured plus-size indication Ashley Graham (a distance 16), and robust MMA warrior Ronda Rousey. While women’s magazines apparently have much to benefit by compelling opposite physique types, it wasn’t so transparent at the time that male audiences wanted to see anything over the customary bikini-clad distance 0. SI editor M.J. Day pronounced at the time, “Beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not ‘one distance fits all.’ Beauty is all around us and that became generally apparent to me while sharpened and modifying this year’s issue.” Then, this past July, Sports Illustrated expelled a line of thorough swimwear for curvier bodies.

Finally, the endowment for trying, but still blank the symbol goes to…

3. Dove (revenue: 52.7 billion euros in 2016)

Credit: Dove

Dove (owned by Unilever) has been guilty of body-shaming promotion prolonged before it was spurned for its pro-whitewashing 2017 commercial, which was eerily remniscient of Jim Crow-era advertisements for soap that suggested black skin was dirty. The company after apologized. Dove’s intentions may be good — at least, in the name of selling bath products, mind you— such as its “Real Beauty Sketches” blurb series in which women are shown artist-rendered portraits of themselves and are bewildered by how appealing they’re viewed as compared with how vicious they are of themselves. But as tough as the code tries to be an disciple for women, it creates invariably risqu� moves, like progressing in 2017 when Dove constructed a limited-edition set of physique rinse bottles meant to elicit opposite womanlike physique shapes. If this is Dove’s solution to physique shame, it needs to find a better way.

Liz Posner is a handling editor at AlterNet. Her work has seemed on Forbes.com, Bust, Bustle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @elizpos.



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