Fitness Brand Advertises Plus-Size Clothing in Worst Possible Way

July 7th 2017

Almie Rose

Athleta is getting backlash for how it's advertising plus-size clothing — or rather, how it's not.

On the athletic clothing brand's website under the "Plus" section, described as "for those larger than XL" there's something missing.

athleta plus size

That something being plus-size models. All of the plus-size clothing is modeled by industry-standard sized models.

While it's great that the Gap-owned brand offers larger sizes, it's somewhat baffling that no one thought to hire the appropriately-sized models to show what their plus-size range actually looks like on a plus-size body.

ATTN: reached out to Athleta to ask why they chose not to use plus-size models, and will update when we hear back.

However, there are other brands that are finally offering more sizes — which makes sense given that the average size of the American woman is a size 16 — and some of these brands hire plus-size models to show what the clothing looks like, such as ModCloth.

modcloth plus size dresses

Nike also featured plus-size models in its plus-size athletic line.


A post shared by NikeWomen (@nikewomen) on

As Redbook noted in January, "If size 16 is the national average, why do so many women feel like their bodies are anything but normal?" This is likely in part due to the lack of visibility of plus-size women in fashion compared to what the industry refers to as "straight sized" women.

But that doesn't mean plus-size women are an anomaly. Susan Dunn, who co-authored a study in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, which "revealed" the average size is 16, told Today, "just knowing where the average is can help a lot of women with their self image. And we hope that the apparel industry can see the numbers and know that these women aren't going away, they aren't going to disappear, and they deserve to have clothing."

[H/T Racked]