Social media spheres have brought about an age of unreality. There is an immense pressure that now surrounds us to look a certain way. Everywhere you look, there are what society perceives to be ‘perfect’ people showcasing their wonderful lives - which is likely miles from the truth. It is not surprising that people have become so consumed in the strive for perfection that they have become swamped with insecurity. However, things are changing; brands such as ASOS are finally allowing Instagram and reality to live harmoniously by celebrating diversity.
In a period marked by widespread representation, it seems ASOS are walking tall ahead of the rest and have been for some time. The ASOS Curve range has been recognised as one of the most inclusive clothing collections that really do appeal to the modern plus size shape. Not only have they been commended for the clothes they create, but also the medium in which they choose to showcase them. The brand has rolled out a promise to never artificially adjust photographs of models to change their appearance - and we are so here for it! The inclusion of stretch marks and naturally occurring pockets of fat is refreshing and necessary for a generation that craves constant modification. As well as avoiding image adjustment, they celebrate the beauty of every size, representing it across all of their platforms. Finally, we meet women size 16+ rocking a fierce collection.
In the past, a size 12 model with a flat stomach and perfectly sculpted legs was as far as ‘plus-size’ had ever achieved. ASOS have understood what their consumers want: to see and understand how clothes will look on multiple figures representative of their own.
Although this is a monumental step in the right direction, it hasn’t stopped criticism. Recently, ASOS posted an image to their Instagram page of a plus size model in a spaghetti strap soft bra. The comments were flooded with people claiming that it was disappointing to see ASOS promote poorly fitting bras. Many claimed that the brand were actively misinforming people on the importance of bra sizing and one even suggested that the image was a ‘good advert for damaged ligaments in the chest’. The general consensus seemed to be that people applauded the beauty and diversity of the plus size model but felt it was insulting to have her in an ill-fitting item.
It seems that, although there is room for improvement, ASOS have finally offered consumers a chance to feel that they are represented in an industry that is so influential. Not only do they represent diversity in size, but they have also celebrated individuals with different disabilities, genders and backgrounds in their new active wear range. If this continues and snowballs into the marketing offices of other high street chains, then the future of fashion promotion will be a positive one. From a self-confessed plus size female, thank you to ASOS for promoting, celebrating and applauding realistic representation.