What has stretch marks, cellulite and beautiful body positivity all over? A lot of people, for starters, but also Target’s latest swimwear campaign.
The retail giant’s ongoing efforts to be more inclusive now include a fabulous photoshoot showing off its new swim line. The images feature a range of bodies and, best of all, the photos are completely unretouched, Target said.
Model and body activist Denise Bidot, television host and model Kamie Crawford, social media star and dancer Megan Batoon and pro skateboarder Lizzie Armanto star in the refreshing campaign.
Target’s move toward inclusion has been reflected in its offerings in general. The retailer earned praise in 2015 for an starring ad women of all different shapes and sizes; that same year, Target Australia cast a woman in her 50s to model a two-piece. Circulars regularly feature representation in many forms including children with disabilities, and Target began phasing out gender-specific labeling in sections like bedding and toys back in 2015.
Ava & Viv, Target’s fashion forward plus-size line, helped salvage the chain’s reputation among plus-size shoppers who were upset by offensively mislabeled clothing one very unfortunate maternity mix-up. Just last week the store also revealed plus sizes of its upcoming Victoria Beckham line will be stocked in stores; Target was previously criticized for only selling larger sizes of its designer collaborations online.
The ads mark the second time in recent memory Bidot has been photographed for a campaign with her stretch marks unretouched. A previous Lane Bryant ad debuted in Dec. 2016 and ended up in the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. “Loving my body, stretch marks and all,” she wrote in a caption of the image on Instagram when it was first revealed.
Ditching Photoshop is a smart way to boost sales ― just ask Aerie, which saw a 20 percent growth in sales in the 2015 fiscal year after going Photoshop-free for its #AerieReal mission. But there’s something else at play here, too: Target is strengthening a connection to its customers that is already proving effective and necessary. A commenter on Target’s announcement of the news wrote it’s the “first time that I’ve ever looked at a swim suit ad and felt like ‘I would look good in that swim suit!’”
More like this forever, please.