The Indecency of Fat

Several years ago, Lane Bryant made a beautiful lingerie commercial featuring a plus-size model. It was rejected by ABC television as inappropriate, though Victoria’s Secret ads, showing far more skin, were deemed acceptable to be shown throughout the day. There was a flurry of discussion, the ad remained off the air.

Now, six years later, Lane Bryant — which is should be noted has only in the last decade or so featured plus size models despite specializing  in clothing for women in that size range — again offers a commercial showing large bodies. Models. A woman holding and breastfeeding her baby. Fleshy bodies of women who are not hiding their bodies but inhabiting them. 

Dove has run ads showing women of varying size in their recent commercials. Victoria’s Secret models are all but nude. But show a women whose body shows a roll of fat and suddenly it is not acceptable, or as NBC and ABC say does not comply with broadcast indecency guidelines. Thin bodies are fine. Fat bodies are not.