Shopping isn’t always easy, and some stores seem to make things even more difficult with vanity sizing, or sizes that just don’t make sense in conjunction with actual body types. The latest brand to get called out for its eyebrow-raising sizing problem is Athleta, AKA Gap’s fitness apparel line. The offense? Their plus-size page on their website doesn’t have any plus-size models. Like, at all.
As initially noted by Racked, when you pop over to Athleta’s “special sizes” category and click “Plus,” you’ll find a variety of stylish dresses in 1x and 2x…but they’re all modeled on thin women. In fact, when you click through to one of the articles of clothing, it will be revealed that the model in the photo is actually wearing a size medium.
The issue is consistent throughout their website in all of the categories: tops, bottoms, dresses, and even the sale page. To make things worse, Athleta has a banner on its site that reads: “Athletes come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why our bottoms come in petite, tall, and plus sizes to give every athlete the same support from the ground up.”
While it’s not uncommon for websites to use just a few models throughout the pages, this particular situation is problematic for a few reasons. On a logistical note, it’s hard to tell what these plus-size outfits actually look like, as they will undoubtedly fit differently on various body types. More importantly, however, when you call an outfit “plus-size” and then show a model wearing a medium, it reinforces unrealistic and unfair beauty standards. It says that this is what people should look like, regardless of their actual size.
At the end of the day, shoppers want to see the clothes they want to buy on models that look like them. Offering plus-size clothing is the first step, but companies need to go further to make sure that their customers feel fully represented.
More on body types:
- This Model Shut DOWN the Man Who Fat-Shamed Her On a Flight
- People on the Internet Are Not Happy About the Sizing of These ASOS Shorts
- Why Jessica Simpson Makes Clothes in EVERY Size
How One Plus-Size Model Learned to Love Her Body: