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Clothing brand criticised for using size 12 model as star of body confidence campaign

Alex Light
Body Work Columnist
July 18, 2019
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Clothing brand In The Style recently launched a new range in collaboration with influencer Chessie King. The collection is about body confidence and self-love – but people aren't happy…

Shoppers have slammed the campaign, saying that it is was the wrong choice to have Chessie represent body confidence, as she is a slim, size 12, beautiful white woman.

Read more: 8 ways to improve your body confidence

There have been lots of comments and insults directed at Chessie and I have a lot of thoughts about this, so here goes…

1. Does putting a size limit on body confidence not totally defy its purpose?

Being an advocate of body confidence isn't a privilege for just one type of figure – everyone deserves to feel comfortable in the skin they're in. I understand that Chessie shouldn't be the ONLY poster person for body confidence, but why can't she be part of the movement?

chessie 1z

2. Let's recognise that being slim doesn't automatically equal body confidence. 

Yes, there is a very, very real thing called thin privilege – being able to navigate the world without any discrimination for your size – and Chessie undoubtedly has it. But she has still faced body confidence issues and still felt crap about her body. Why is she not allowed to celebrate overcoming this?

3. Can we just stop with the shaming?

Can we though? I'm done with it – stop shaming people for their body, full stop. Whatever the hell their body looks like – just don't comment on it, how about that? A quick Twitter search brought up some really nasty comments about Chessie and it really annoys me – how is spreading negativity beneficial ANY kind of movement?

View post on Instagram

4. The campaign shouldn't have mentioned body positivity.

I actually don't think Chessie was involved in the mentioning of body positivity – I think she is quite careful not to co-opt it. Which is absolutely correct – as blogger Grace Victory told me: "Body positivity was created by black, fat women for black, fat women and those who identify as trans or women. It is a political and radical movement and needs to remain as such. Body positivity has been hijacked by women who are pretty much seen everywhere, meaning that marginalised people are being erased from the one place they were safe in."

Read more: Why I'm no longer using the term 'body positive'

Phew – that was longer than expected! I had to get all of that out, and I stand by it. Minus the use of body positivity, I think the campaign is fine and should be allowed to exist without toxic negativity.

What do you think? Head over to my instagram @alexlight_ldn for further conversation…  

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