#ImNoAngel: Breaking Barriers or Building Them?

By Aakriti Gupta

Elm Staff Writer

Woman empowerment comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. In today’s times, especially in the United States, the majority of the population is very accepting of all kinds of people, something I have learned from my own experience. Going off of that, the plus size American clothing company Lane Bryant works to increase the level of social acceptance of a particular group of women. It is a leading brand that provides all kinds of clothing from beach to formal wear for plus sized women. Lane Bryant is one of the most recognized plus size clothing companies with an emphasis on fashion and fit, instead of focusing on brands size.

Recently, the lingerie division at Lane Bryant launched their new campaign called the #ImNoAngel campaign. It is designed to empower all kinds of women to love every part of themselves and aims to make these women feel comfortable with every inch of their body, regardless of their size.

The new “I’mNoAngel” campaign has generated controversy over its supposedly body positive message.
The new “I’mNoAngel” campaign has generated controversy over its supposedly body positive message.

Personally, I think it’s a great motto that encourages plus sized women to feel comfortable in their own skin instead of making them feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. However, even though Lane Bryant’s efforts and merchandize are for a good cause, I can’t say I am a fan of the #ImNoAngel campaign. This campaign very openly takes a direct hit on Victoria’s Secret. Victoria’s Secret, the leading lingerie brand in America, has supermodels as the face of their brand who are referred to as angels instead of just brand ambassadors. They are beautiful women who have skinny bodies, as most stereotypical models all around the world do. It is not the first time that a particular brand has skinny models for the purpose of endorsing their product. I think we can all agree that the way we have been socialized, most of us form an image of the skinny, zero sized women in our head when we hear someone say supermodel. I appreciate that Lane Bryant is trying to change that, but I don’t understand the necessity of targeting Victoria’s Secret choice regarding their brand ambassadors.

Often supermodels are called anorexic and unhealthy for their lifestyle choices like following crazy diets and working out for long hours to maintain their small size and body frame. There are many other professions that require an extreme lifestyle. There are athletes that overstress their bodies physically by training for long hours. There are doctors and nurses that go for hours without food and sleep. Why is it that only the lifestyles of models are thrown under the bus? Why is it that we put supermodels and their choices to shame particularly?

All professions require their recipients to sacrifice a couple of things for their work. Many may say that saving lives and working towards winning the World Series is worlds apart from walking the runway or showcasing apparel. However, I argue that all sacrifices made to achieve success portray dedication and passion for their profession. Personal goals are always based on one’s own dreams, missions, and perspective in life. Therefore, so is the path they follow to accomplish each one of their dreams.

The brand Victoria’s Secret and the angels are ridiculed not just by Lane Bryant but by many other people. Even though the avngels have the specific, stereotypical model bodies, the brand does not directly try to make them feel inferior. Every individual is entitled to their own opinion and choice, and the marketing team at Victoria’s Secret happens to prefer these models as a part of their campaign and marketing strategy. This campaign by Lane Bryant does in some ways contradict its own motto of making women feel accepted and comfortable with their body image by targeting another section of women with a different body type. Skinny, athletic, or plus sized, every women has the choice of what she would want herself to look like regarding her body type without anyone pointing fingers. Beauty is never defined by the size of your clothes. It is what lies inside, because real beauty is never skin deep.

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