Model and body activist Ashley Graham’s latest ad for Lane Bryant is not on the level of NBC and ABC’s advertising division—which is to say, the opinions of TV ad dudes are about as pertinent as the opinions of Dr. Oz’s number one expert occultist, a human named Cheryl Tiegs. Both networks have rejected a 30 second commercial spot from the plus-size retailer on the grounds that it “[does not] comply with broadcast indecency guidelines.”
According to TMZ, the flagship commercial in question was made for Lane Bryant’s “This Body” underwear marketing campaign, and features Graham, other full-bodied models, a woman breastfeeding, and nudity more or less on par with a Dove commercial.
Lane Bryant subsequently gave a statement to Racked on the dismissal, which the company considers an inclusive celebration of all body types.
“The This Body campaign was meant to be a fun way for us to celebrate and honor women of all shapes and sizes. What is too much for some does not hold true for others. All women should be celebrated and feel empowered to express themselves as they see fit. We want her to know she can attract as much media attention, look just as striking as any woman, and decide what beautiful means to her. The This Body commercial holds nothing back. It is a true celebration of women of all sizes doing what makes THEM feel beautiful whether its breastfeeding their newborn, flaunting their bodies the way they see fit, breaking down barriers all around and simply being who they are or want to be!”
The retailer later emphasized that they would not, under any circumstances, alter the ad:
“The first edit was turned down out of hand and while we clearly created the commercial to air we will not edit it as we believe it’s a beautiful and appropriate expression of women’s bodies. We do plan to air this through our own media and through digital channels where they find it as acceptable.”
This isn’t the first time that Graham and Lane Bryant have encountered this kind of backlash from mainstream networks. In 2010, Graham spoke out against a similar rejection from ABC, in which the model compared the previous commercial to a typical one from a comparable enterprise—couture and high-heeled seraphim enthusiasts Victoria’s Secret.
“Victoria’s Secret commercials are airing all throughout the day,” Graham said at the time, “but when it comes to a Lane Bryant commercial, we have a little bit of extra, you know, overflowing, and then everybody freaks out.”
While the plus-size clothing retailer hasn’t always had an excellent record with the needs and wants of its customers, their stalwart efforts here can only be classified as “realness AF.”
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Image via Lane Bryant.