This Campaign Demands Size Inclusivity Because "An XL Does Not Make You a Diverse Brand"
The Unplug Collective is a website launched in 2019 by Amanda Taylor, a Jamaican student who recognized the importance of creating a community for Black women to discuss body discrimination and mental health. The site is a place for healing, for original stories to be told, and for education, which is achieved through telling the experiences of Black women and gender-expansive people. The Unplug Collective should be your next follow on Instagram, if you haven't reached for your phone already.
"Fat women are tastemakers too . . . Look at the revolutions we have started & sustained. Our ingenious has lined your pockets, and yet you give us little in return."
Now, the platform, which is run by a team of Black college students, has launched a #DearFashionIndustry campaign, that demands more from designers and simultaneously introduces followers to small brands that are inclusive through the clothes worn in the photo series. Enter curve models Ireanna, Taylor Long, and Gess Pugh, who modeled Long's own swimwear brand Nomads (sizes S-4X) for the empowering shoot, where each woman was also asked to write an open letter to the industry about the frustrating lack of representation, and what it means for full figured women who are fashionable and expressive — a huge majority of women being excluded.
"Fat women are tastemakers too. Think of the innovation & creativity we must possess to beautifully & effortlessly express ourselves — our art — through fashion, with the scraps you give us. Look at the revolutions we have started & sustained. Our ingenious has lined your pockets, and yet you give us little in return," Pugh began her message.
"Dear Fashion Industry," Ireanna said. "From your local fat Black plus model, I am bigger than a 1XL. My fupa, rolls, and cellulite are not going anywhere. Stop making me squeeze into your clothing. Expand your brand. Expand your sizes. Be inclusive for real. An XL does not make you a diverse brand, does not make you inclusive, does not give you a plus-sized range," she noted, while also calling out the fact that many companies that claim to be size inclusive do not use plus-size models in images that they define as plus-size campaigns.
Ahead, read all three letters in full, and admire Long's Nomads swimwear in gorgeous shades of coral. And, if you haven't yet, help spread the message with us by sharing this post and demanding that the industry do better.