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For Levi's, 'Hotness' Comes In Small, Small, and Small [Updated]

Illustration for article titled For Levis, Hotness Comes In Small, Small, and Small [Updated]

Levi's latest ad campaign is all about how its jeans fit different kinds of bodies. Unfortunately, the company doesn't seem to understand what "different" means.

Illustration for article titled For Levis, Hotness Comes In Small, Small, and Small [Updated]

A recent ad, courtesy of Copyranter, is at left. See, "hotness comes in all shapes and sizes," as long as those shapes are minute variations on the same thin, ponytailed woman. At first I thought the three women actually were the same model, just Photoshopped to have slightly different boobs and butts. A closer look at the profiles reveals this probably isn't the case, but it might as well be. The ladies' bodies are so alike that the claim that they represent "all shapes and sizes" is ludicrous.


As Copyranter points out, this isn't the first time Levi's has made this mistake. Back in 2010, Shelby Knox wrote about an ad for the same Curve ID jeans, which featured three slender white ladies with slightly different asses. Knox said,

[A]ll the models in the ad are the exact same size and that size is small, smaller than the average American woman you're supposedly trying to reach. If you put the words ‘Bold Curve' next to a woman, I expect her to have, um, bold curves and preferably legs that don't look like toothpicks.

She added, "Speaking of the average American woman, your target audience, do you only imagine her as white?" Some later ads did a slightly better job with racial diversity, but were no better on size. This is especially bizarre given that Curve ID jeans are supposed to flatter many different body types — that's the whole point of this line. So why wouldn't Levi's show the jeans on different bodies? I've asked them that question — I'll let you know if they respond.

Update: Levi's has responded that the ad above is actually from their 2010 campaign. It arrived at Copyranter via Reddit — unclear if the Redditor in question had an old magazine, or if some magazines are running the old ad. A Levi's spokesperson also told me:

In terms of the models in our Curve ID campaign, each of the women in our advertising reflects a different type of curve within the Levi's Curve ID system – by no means is the advertising representative of all women's body types across the globe. However, we created Levi's Curve ID with an international mindset to ensure women across the globe could enjoy jeans with a custom fit. We're listening and our customers feedback is important to us. While we continue to improve on our fits, we're always looking at ways to ensure our marketing efforts are more reflective of our diverse customer base. As a company, our goal has always been to make everyone feel confident and comfortable in Levi's jeans. We certainly value all feedback.


Levi's again insults all women size six and up. [Copyranter]

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Ads like this undo a lot of the work I try to do in feeling good about my body. I am naturally small-hipped and thick-waisted, and my butt doesn't stick out that far. It seems like every time I see "curves" mentioned in ad campaigns, it just translates to, "You can be thin and fit, but have a round butt, and that's okay!" But don't a ton of people think that's okay?

All I'm trying to say is, the all-one-size critique is well-taken. But I'm glad to see the critique as well of the fact that they're also all the same *shape.*

Side note: I would kill for some non-frumpy jeans with an elasticized portion on the waistband for people with no hips that don't want waves of fabric gaping at the ass and thighs because they had to buy jeans to fit a fat waist. Maternity jeans are made to either fall *under a belly*, which, - trust - is not a good look on me; or they have that enormous stretchy panel that always just rolls down because once again, I do *not* have the hips to hold it up.