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Lingerie brand receives backlash for diverse campaign but refuses to take it down

“We wanted to show people that they didn’t have to have perfect skin, bone structure, or bodies to feel beautiful”

Rachel Hosie
Wednesday 15 March 2017 11:23 GMT
Stock image
Stock image

We really cannot win.

Whilst it seems like every day, companies are lambasted for not using diverse enough models in their campaigns, one lingerie brand has now received a huge backlash for featuring too diverse a selection of women.

Georgia-based lingerie boutique Livi Rae has been criticised for the line-up of women in its in-store campaign.

The shop put up a window display featuring various women of different colours, shapes, ages, abilities and sizes, but received complaints and was told to take it down.

Apparently, the images were considered “in bad taste”.

The brand, however, has refused.

Owned by Decker and Molly Hopkins, Livi Rae’s slogan is “No bust too big or small, we fit ’em all.”

Livi Rae is known for its celebration of all women - they fit all sizes as well as women recovering from mastectomies or who have prosthetics or other disabilities.

“We wanted to show people that they didn’t have to have perfect skin, bone structure, or bodies to feel beautiful,” Decker told Yahoo Style.

But clearly not everyone is on board with this.

Complaints about the campaign - which features plus-size women as well as a wheelchair-bound model with Multiple Sclerosis - reached the company which manages the shop’s lease, who said the matter was “under investigation”.

“We’ve never had to clear an ad with the management property in the past. We were told the ad is in ‘poor taste,’ but no one has explained what that means,” Decker said.

However people sprung to Livi Rae’s defence, pointing out that those complaining may insist it’s the nudity with which they take umbrage, but it is likely in fact that they’re uncomfortable seeing ‘imperfect’ bodies.

“Yeah, give em hell. More retailers need to take a step up for full figured women like myself. I'm tired of seeing skinny models wearing clothing that's supposedly for full figured women; what the heck is up with that?” wrote one woman on Facebook.

“This is EXACTLY why I choose to buy from you! These ads encourage and empower us to think beautiful thoughts about our own shapes and the possibilities we can have,” added another.

And one woman commented that she hoped the campaign would send a positive message to girls: “This is how people get things done! Thank you ladies for standing up and saying enough is enough. My biggest hope is that little girls no longer grow up feeling ashamed of being in their own skin!”

It seems the public support really made a difference too.

“We absolutely are not taking down our windows,” Hopkins told The Independent. “We poured out our heart and souls along side these everyday women who bared their bodies to help women feel better about themselves.

“They were bold and courageous and we chose them to help us spread the word about our 'Real bodies, real women, real stories' campaign because when the clothes come off, stories spill out. We uncovered a lot of issues when we did the casting call with these beauties.

“We have since received word that we can keep them up after the owners of the property were bombarded with emails, letters and phone calls expressing their concerns over the issue from our friends, fans and clients.”​

Hear hear.

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