Friday, June 12, 2015

A Perfect Fit

It’s no new occurrence that the fashion industry perceivably sells the image that “thin is in”. From print ads to billboards to TV commercials, we see women with more petite shaped body frames being featured. However, according to, the average size of today’s modern woman is 14. Why place emphasis on size 8 and below? Do these images truly resonate or represent all the women of the world? What subliminal messages are we sharing with our female youth?

Displaying unrealistic images may teach little girls and young women that they have to look like this to be accepted in society, and that’s not the case. Unfortunately, some young women are dealing with body issues because of the images they see every day. This is a great opportunity for marketers like you and I to advocate social change.  One major retailer is already on board – Target. Check out their new campaign, “A Fit for Everybody” here:

Target’s campaign uniquely advertises swimsuits and has received positive recognition because they chose everyday women with different body shapes to represent their brand.  The four women featured in the campaign range from petite to plus size women.

According to, wearing a swimsuit can highlight insecurities, create fears and anxiety about wearing them. A 2007 survey from Fitness magazine found that 50% of women have turned down invitations that required wearing a swimsuit, and a 2012 study from Sex Roles: A Journey of Research found that young women "self-objectified" and judged themselves in a bathing suit, which in turn worsened their moods. By taking ownership of their insecurities as well as the features they're most proud of, Target's approach empowers each woman to embrace her body.

What a great lesson for marketers! It’s essential to understand not only the demographics of the audience that we are targeting but also the psychographics.  By doing this, the images created for the product or service will more likely resonate with the intended audience. Target gets it.

As marketers, we must take the lead and let everyone else catch up. Your business may not work with models but this campaign can be easily applied to any issue that is plaguing society. We can use the power of marketing to change negative perceptions, thoughts, attitudes, etc. to positive ones.

Target is on the right track. Are you?

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