Lane Bryant is based on body positivity — the company is all about clothes that celebrate plus-size women and campaigns that counteract hurtful, false stigmas that are too often associated with body types over a size 10.
So when Denise Bidot, plus-size model and founder of the There is No Wrong Way to Be a Woman campaign, appeared Wednesday on the brand’s Instagram feed, clad in a nautical bikini and cover up, it wasn’t surprising that she appeared as is — beautiful, with stretch marks and all.
In fact, Bidot’s clothing, a striped cover-up and sailor stripe bikini top, seem to enhance her own “stripes,” implying that stretch marks aren’t just part of the woman — they’re a bold element that should be celebrated as part of her look. Lane Bryant does this all without a single word. The Instagram post’s caption calls no attention to retouching or Bidot’s stretch marks. Why? Because that’s just not the point.
Bidot, later posted the photograph (which boasts over 16,000 likes) to her own Instagram, praising the brand for featuring bodies like hers. “Loving this new image and how real it is,” she wrote. “Thank you Lane Bryant for loving my body, stretch marks and all.”
But, according to Lane Bryant, no thanks are necessary — this is what the brand has set out to do. Brian Beitler, CMO and EVP of marketing wrote in an email to Huffington Post, “We at Lane Bryant simply believe that all women should be seen and celebrated as they are. Society and the media continuously project an unrealistic and frankly out-dated beauty and body standard.”
Beitler’s goal in producing and distributing photographs like these is to inspire other brands in similar ways. “Our hope is more brands will follow suit, not just in terms of shooting women without retouching, but being much more celebratory of all shapes and sizes and bodies,” Beitler told SELF. “That’s the real intent here.”
And Bidot’s dream? To reach women that have stretch marks and promote self love. After an outpouring of positive comments on the image, “from women who have stretch marks [and] who don’t have stretch marks,” Bidot told SELF that she believes women are finally getting it. “Oh, okay, I can be this way and it is wonderful,” she said. “And there’s nothing wrong with it.”
Read our exclusive interview with Denise Bidot here.