Lane Bryant Catalog
Dear Lane Bryant Catalog Company,
Upon first glance, there is nothing unusual or wrong with the Lane Bryant Catalog. When I recently received the catalog in the mail, I casually flipped the pages, with out much focus or attention. When I saw a garment that I might like for myself, I read the description further. Only then did I become confused and later extremely angry. The model shown in the stretch denim jeans was clearly slimmer than my own small size 8, and yet the sizes offered began at a size 14. Only then did look at the cover of the catalog and notice the Lane Bryant name and the small line of text “Fashion with Comfort for Sizes 14 & Up.”
There is not one single model shown in the Lane Bryant Catalog I received who could in anyway be a size 14 or larger. All are obviously much, much smaller than even the smallest sizes sold! Upon closer inspection, the clothing is inordinately large and loose on their slim frames.
I find the use of these slender models in the Lane Bryant Catalog extremely disturbing and demeaning to women of all sizes. While Lane Bryant Catalog certainly makes a great profit from larger size women, they have chosen not to depict the very women they sell to! Not only is it deceptive in showing how garments will actually fit and hang on a larger figure, but it further reinforces that having a large body is unacceptable and unworthy of being photographed. Finally, Lane Bryant Catalog is denying employment opportunities for larger sized models.
Although I am a size 8 and not over weight or large sized, I myself struggle with body image. Women are bombarded with images of ultra-thin figures in the media and from the fashion industry that are unattainable and unrealistic for the vast majority. While I feel that maintaining a healthy weight and being fit is extremely important to ones mental and physical well being, I also recognize that this ideal eludes many people. Whether due to behavior or genetics, I have great empathy for the emotional struggle that is associated with being overweight. Some women are happy and accepting with their large sized bodies but the majority is not because of the extreme societal pressure to fit a certain image. The damaging psychological toll this takes on women is enormous. The fashion industry’s roll in the issue should not be diminished.
I find Lane Bryant Catalog to be guilty of the most grievous insult against large sized women, by making a profit from sales to them and then turning around and refusing to show models that represent their own customers!
I have purchased gifts for my mother, sisters and other dear friends in the past from Lane Bryant Retail Stores, and until I investigated further I assumed that these companies were one and the same. I have generally been please with the quality of the garments and the style and selection offered for larger-sized women, as well as the respectful way they depict women in their advertising. The reputation of Lane Bryant Stores has been marred by Lane Bryant Catalog. I came very close to boycotting Lane Bryant Stores as a result of my dissatisfaction with Lane Bryant Catalog. I have forwarded a copy of this letter to Lane Bryant Stores as reference.
Until Lane Bryant Catalog revises it’s practice of using models and actresses under a size 14 or greater, who are not VISABLY full-figured, (with obviously ample breasts, hips, thighs and rounded faces) in ALL it’s photography, I will not purchase any items (as gifts) for my large side women friends, and I will strongly encourage them not purchase anything from this company as well. I will also be certain all my friends and associates are aware that Lane Bryant Catalog is not in anyway affiliated with Lane Bryant Stores.