H&M Praised for Using Size 12 Model in Swimwear Campaign

The Swedish retailer has generated big buzz by tapping Jennie Runk to front its plus-size swimwear

  • Share
  • Read Later
Courtesy of H&M
Courtesy of H&M

H&M has generated big buzz by tapping Jennie Runk, a size 12 American model, to front its plus-size swimwear campaign this season.

Most of the campaign shows Runk beachside in a one-piece swimsuit or shorts and a top. But one wall-size ad features the model in a black bikini with a tiny bit of roll over her bathing suit bottom—quelle horror.

Such splash on a plus-size bathing suit ad marks a big step forward for a fashion chain in general, but especially for the Swedish retailer. Just two years ago, the company was blasted for Photoshopping the heads of real models onto one computer-generated body in different skin tones for its online shop.

Adweek reports that the new campaign is already being praised for promoting a healthy body image. Commenters left notes that read, “REAL Woman <3″ and “Wow. She is absolutely gorgeous and has a normal body. How Refreshing.” on a slide show of the campaign on Ford Models’ blog. It’s worth mentioning that Runk is still smaller than the average American woman, who wears a size 14, and that much of the praise has focused on how “normal” her body is, despite the fact that she’s technically a plus-size model fronting a plus-size swimsuit campaign.

H&M for its part has downplayed the press. “Our aim is not to convey a certain message or show an ideal but to find a model who can illustrate this collection in an inspiring and clear way,” an H&M publicist told Quartz.

The retailer got similar press in 1993 when it put busty Playboy centerfold Anna Nicole Smith in lace corsets and bras on billboards around the world as part of its lingerie campaign; the ads caused traffic accidents for several distracted drivers. High-end designers, fashion magazines and mass brands have since used fuller figured models in several high-profile campaigns: Jean Paul Gaultier closed his 2005 show in Paris with Crystal Renn, then a size 12 model, while Robyn Lawley became Ralph Lauren’s first plus-size model last September. Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, which subbed real women for professional models in its ads, went viral after launching in 2004. But if the reaction to H&M’s latest campaign is any indication, plus-size models are still too few and far in between in fashion.

29 comments
AnnaMichelle
AnnaMichelle

I am a size 12 at H&M and I am definitely not a plus size. I'm 5'7 and 140. They run like 4 sizes larger there I am usually a size 8. I feel like I'm defending myself lol but 12 at H&M is not really plus size!

RenaWard
RenaWard

She is not overweight. That is the problem. The media has distorted views of a normal body! Women are meant to have curves. Our bodies are designed to make and later feed a baby! Get a grip and realize how socially constructed ideas of healthy control your minds!

FrankJo8
FrankJo8

This is so stupid. They either have deathly thin girls or fat girls.. Can they get some girls with a healthy lean body? Get real.. So women that are fit are not "real women"? Get a grip

taylorjkc
taylorjkc

underweight is too passe,  it's all about being overweight now!

it's quite hilarious people get outraged when brands use skinny underweight models but applaud when plus size models are used, because the former aren't normal or good as role models, but the latter totally are. what a double standard!

UNHEALTHY IS NOT GORGEOUS! whether is it underweight or overweight! 

and if you want to say 'real' women are gorgeous, then it should apply to every women, cause they are all literally real.

jcmurph28
jcmurph28

Kudos to H&M for having the courage to gently step up against the "unrealistic, typical, skinny- model- bodies." This woman's body is gorgeous. Most women can't look like a stick, and it's about time somebody out there realized that real women should be displayed more often in billboards, adds, magazine covers, and TV commercials.  Most men like a little curve rather than a plank of wood. I am going to start buying more often at H&M as a result of this beautiful size 12 woman.  Well done H&M !!

ZDushaj
ZDushaj

It's not a plus-size campaign, that's what makes it great.  Your emphasis of that fact seems to indicate that you're not a huge fan, or are downplaying the great move this was on H&M's part.

EdwardGrey
EdwardGrey

Lets celebrate an unhealthy over weight high cholesterol heart attack lifestyle. Congratulations fat America the rest of the world is laughing.

And if any of you idiots are rolling your eyes lets do a statistical analysis of health between America and the rest of the world. I guarantee we have more fat people here per capital and are arrogant to say its normal.

daisyonslow12
daisyonslow12

Quelle horror is incorrect french. Think you mean quelle horreur.....I think shops should use 10-16 size models to prove that you shouldn't diet to look good.

daisyonslow12
daisyonslow12

Quelle horror is incorrect french.

Think you mean quelle horreur.....

I think shops should use 10-16 size models to prove that you shouldn't diet to look good.

mr.quan
mr.quan

Disagree. That's just going to the other extreme and promoting unhealthy people. We don't need size 00 models but we also don't need size 12 models. Let's go to the healthy medium--some size 4-8 models. 

FrankJo8
FrankJo8

Please.. You're preaching to the choir.. I'm perfectly aware of society's insane constructs over people's lives- but this is ridiculous.. There are plenty of fit girls/women who have sexy asses/hips but are not like this model.. Why shouldn't fashion have the perfect woman? Someone who is both fit but isn't flat like a cutting board? That is the ideal sexy woman! The best of both worlds.. But instead to make people who don't meet these looks happy, they put a less than ideal woman- idiom sorry but I'm not trying to be mean but are fashion magazine supposed to purposefully select hideous people to be models because "beautiful" people are not "real"? Please.. Errant nonsense !

Abbi
Abbi

@taylorjkc Women want to see what the clothes will look like on a figure similar to their own. End of story. Models generally don't share their opinions and knowledge with the public. I don't see why they should be considered role models?

And last time I checked, anorexia is far more deadly than simply being curvy. Please read Crystal Renn's memoir--being a size twelve at near six feet tall, is hardly overweight. 

ZDushaj
ZDushaj

@EdwardGrey  she is not overweight.  Straight-size models are in a far more dangerous place regarding health than this girl.  This girl is beautiful.

Abbi
Abbi

@mr.quan Erm, you realize how tall this girl is? Models are usually upwards of 5'10". Not every girl is going to be healthy at a size four. I wasn't. I didn't get my period. xD Mister, being a size ten is perfectly cool with me, and I don't think any of us ladies need any man's help determining which size we ought to be, in order to be healthy. All the other happy ladies my size, will only laugh at your absurd pronouncement of our "unhealth," while we enjoy the energy and strength that comes from being well-nourished. 

RenaWard
RenaWard

4-8 is not average size! You'r a joke. 10-12 is an average size! You guys are something else!

ZDushaj
ZDushaj

@mr.quan You are ridiculous.  This girl is not unhealthy.  AT ALL!  Some (doggish) men just have a stupid expectation.  I am a size four, but it would be silly of me to expect that all women are built like I am; this model is a beautiful woman who can actually menstruate and think clearly because she's feeding herself.

Abbi
Abbi

@ClayneWheeler Hmm. Well, there needs to be more then! Perhaps try searching online. A lot of stores offer free shipping. 

Abbi
Abbi

@FrankJo8SHE is hideous? Um, no. And "lean" is not actually healthy for women. xD The ladies in fitness magazines have such low bodyfat, they probably don't get their periods. :P Not even joking. Study endocrinology, and maybe read Linda Bacon and Crystal Renn, and your limited knowledge of health will be increased. 

Also--what is wrong with people wanting to see women who look like themselves modelling clothes? It makes sense, when you think about it. I have some curves, and seeing outfits on models who have small breasts, is annoying, because I want to know if the fit is appropriate for my body. That's so much more important when ordering online.

Excessive photoshop = images that don't accurately represent life. Anorexic models certainty are real. What exactly is beautiful about starvation? And what isn't beautiful about a little belly chub on a soft, vibrant, well-nourished figure?


FrankJo8
FrankJo8

Look there are girls in between the skinny models and this.. This is not very attractive .. It screams "politically correct"- it's silly.. So because somegirls are "beautiful" and other are very overweight (which most people find not attractive at all) we're also supposed to have people like that model? Get real..

mr.quan
mr.quan

@RenaWard 10-12 is america's average but America's average is slightly obese. She's not unhealthy but not exactly "fit" medically either. Models are suppose to be ideal no? 

Abbi
Abbi

@FrankJo8 Why do you even care? You are a man, and I doubt you're even in the market for ladies' swimwear. Go look at some porn. xD

BigStrongWoman
BigStrongWoman

@mr.quan @RenaWard Mr. Quan, I invite you to join my women's mountain biking group for a ride.  We are all different shapes and sizes.  Lots of middle aged gals like me who have womanly  bodies.  I guarantee you'd get your sorry butt kicked all the way up the mountain and back.  

RenaWard
RenaWard

@mr.quan @RenaWard 

Actually the "average" woman is currently a size 14.  Size 10 is a great size to maintain.  And it depends on what period of time you are in for what is considered "ideal".    


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 382 other followers