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Plus size model The rise of the inbetweenie: a new kind of sexy

When thinking of lingerie ads, we obviously think about the annual, spectacular, Victoria’s Secret Angels show, where super skinny, beautiful models are parading to the coolest and most sexy beats. And if you’re a woman yourself, I bet you and your friends are always thinking about which Angel you would be (I would be Adriana ;)). These angels are the perfect display of feminine beauty, one would think. Wrong.

A new kind of sexy

Let me quickly put you to the test: when I say the names Myla Dalbesio, Candice Huffine & Ashley Graham, do they ring any bell? I guess they don’t. Yet, their profession is the same as the one of famous Gisele Bundchen, Doutzen Kroes or Adriana Lima. They are all top models: equally beautiful, equally sexy and equally talented. There’s one difference though: their size.

Ashley Graham Sports Illustrated

As a matter of fact, they’re gaining popularity really fast because in the past year a new understanding of feminine beauty has started to leave its mark: say hi to the inbetweenie. In November alone, three high-fashion institutes have started using these models in their communication and advertising strategy. In its new “Perfectly Fit” underwear campaign, Calvin Klein is using Myla Dalbesio as their leading model, and please be free to judge for yourself, but she’s totally nailing it. Another star is Candice Huffine, who will shine next to 11 other supermodels in the 2015 Pirelli Calendar. My favorite, however, is the beautiful Ashley Graham: 27 and shining on the cover of Sports Illustrated (the new Issue 2015 is available as from today by the way). After having already posed for Elle, Glamour & Levi’s, Graham says the world is ready for curves in bikinis. And she’s right. Sports Illustrated have even recently started their #CurvesinBikinis social media campaign, where they encourage normal women to show that they’re proud of their bodies in bikinis, whatever size they may be.

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: The world is ready for #CurvesinBikinis: a new understanding of feminine beauty insit.es/1vdCgWF by @MasNatalie via @CoolBrands #GenY

Being perfectly imperfect

Graham is not the only one claiming that the world is ready for curves in bikini, or just being the way you are in general. This phenomena totally fits into the overall 2015 trend of being perfectly imperfect, already announced early January by Gen Y expert, Joeri Van den Bergh. The self-empowered Millennials are experiencing a perfection fatigue and craving for transforming their lives by embracing who they really are. Goodbye unrealistic beauty ideals, goodbye Instagram filters & goodbye Photoshop. Nowadays, it’s not about being (super) skinny anymore, it’s about the appearance you make and the way you feel, whatever size you have.

Hot tweetawayHot tweetaway: Goodbye unrealistic beauty ideals, #Instagram filters & #Photoshop? #Millennials want to be perfectly imperfect insit.es/1vdCgWF via @CoolBrands #GenY

Meghan Trainor All about that bass

And the proof is everywhere. To name a few:

  • Stars like Kim Kardashian and J.Lo have become the beauty example of lots of women because of their curvier bodies;
  • Mattel’s Barbie doll sale has dropped with 13% the past year, because of the impossibly slim body ideals the doll represents;
  • Megan Trainor and Nicki Minaj are singing songs about how amazing it is to be an inbetweenie;

Towards curvy fashion

Even the fashion industry is playing upon this new beauty ideal, and they should be. If your goal is to sell clothes to all kinds of women, it’s a bit strange to only feature one kind of woman wearing your clothes. Also, women are more likely to buy clothes worn by models closer to their age, size and race. Mainstream retailers from H&M and Forever 21, to ASOS and Mango have added plus-size lines to their collection last year. And business is booming, because by featuring women of all sizes on your website, you’re in fact saying that all women are great and beautiful, no matter their size.

Violeta by Mango

And in the end, that’s what it’s all about: the fact that you’re amazing (& beautiful), just the way you are (to end with a cheesy Bruno Mars verse ;))

Posted in Insights