The popularization of natural beauty and self-acceptance has finally become a thing, and social media has let go of the image of an idealized body that does not exist. Brands are eager to follow this trend and use it in their communication activities.
The Body Positive movement originated in the United States in the 1960s, when Americans struggled with the serious problem of obesity among children and adults. The widespread stigma of plus size people urged activists, and later wider community, to take an initiative that promotes respect and acceptance of the body that is far from perfect. Nowadays, thanks to social media, this movement has taken a new face that is focused not only on weight, but also other aspects. Today, wrinkles, scars or stretch marks are no longer a reason to be ashamed, but have become a symbol of experience and self-acceptance.\
The brands could not remain indifferent to the body-positivity trend when artists and other public figures joined in, showing that they were also far from ideal. Alicia Keys decided to show up on the red carpet without make-up, Lena Dunham forbade the graphics of major newspapers to remove cellulite from her photos, wanting to show women that it is something normal and should be accepted.
Ok, but how have the brands responded to this trend? There are at least a dozen interesting examples of campaigns. One of them was made by the Polish brand Louie, a producer of women’s underwear. As the founders write: At Louie, we believe that no body is perfect – but we love them all equally. We love women who accept themselves and their imperfections completely, and who are aware of their strength and femininity – this makes them unique. This manifesto was reflected in the campaign “No body is perfect”, where subtle women’s underwear harmonized well with round body shapes, folds, moles and stretch marks. In this way, the brand wanted to show that every body is beautiful, and that self-acceptance is extremely important. Imperfections can’t be an indicator of one’s value.
Another brand that supports the body positive movement is Nike, which in its communication raises the topic of celebration of diversity in sport. An interesting and widely commented action taken by the brand was the introduction of plus size dummies in storefronts. Moreover, for some time now, the collection of the brand has included clothes in enlarged sizes, which are worn by plus size influencers cooperating with Nike – Grace Victory and Chloe in Curve.
Primark decided to carry out a similar campaign with models who beautifully presented female imperfections. The photo session created in the spirit of body-positivity showed that women differ from each other and may have imperfect shapes, but that’s what makes them truly beautiful. Models boldly presented their bodies and stretch marks, while ideally crooked teeth or wrinkles were not a source of complexes in the campaign, but an advantage.
Body Positive is a trend that pleases and gives hope for more ethical and pro-social activities of brands. Importantly, it concerns not only the body, but also self-acceptance and positive way of thinking about oneself. Women have fallen in love with #ilovemybody, #bodypositive hashtags and are enthusiastic about subsequent campaigns in the spirit of body-positivity. Everything indicates that the time for diversity to play the first fiddle is coming.