ASDA's plus-size lingerie campaign is sparking debate

·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·6-min read
Olivia Campbell for George at ASDA. (George at ASDA/Instagram)
Model Olivia Campbell feels 'fabulous' in Goerge at ASDA lingerie. (George at ASDA/Instagram)

ASDA has collaborated with plus-size models for its lingerie campaign in what can be seen as a positive move for the fashion industry to celebrate different body types, shapes and sizes – and the models look amazing.

However, the supermarket chain has received divided feedback, with some criticising it for dressing the plus-size women in lingerie that doesn't seem to fit, while others are arguing the pieces fit exactly as they should, with lingerie sitting differently on different sizes.

George at ASDA, the fashion branch of the retailer, shared images advertising its underwear which included the model Olivia Campbell, featuring her smiling and posing in one pink and one green lingerie set.

The caption reads, "Gorgeous gorgeous girls, wear basics that make them feel amazing. @curvycampbell slaying our pink and green lace sets. #AnythingButBasic."

Some members of the public expressed their support for broader representation in the fashion industry, but have also called out ASDA for what they see as putting the models in lingerie that looks uncomfortable to wear.

One commented, "It would be helpful if they were properly fitting items. I'm all for curvy models and she's gorgeous but those pieces do not fit her properly."

Another said, "I'm the same size as the model, and although she's stunning, I do think the bra and pants look uncomfortable. I couldn't stand to have those pants hiked up over my tummy like that."

Some have insisted the images just reflect a stylistic choice of how to wear underwear – it's fashionable to wear knickers pulled above the hip bone – and that the backlash shows an ignorance as to what lingerie look like on plus-size bodies.

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One commentator said, "Where are people looking? I'm so confused! She's plus size, knickers sit differently, they're not too small at all. This is how I wear mine and they are incredibly comfortable. I'm sure if the set didn't fit she would have said something."

Another echoed this with, "The knickers fit...this is just what our fat bodies look like when we wear high leg knickers the same way everyone else does on social media.

"This is exactly why we need to normalise fat bodies by increasing representation everywhere."

One fan also points out that while the underwear might be the models' size on the label, from personal experience, the range might not use standard sizings.

"This is nothing to do with the model, that underwear will be her usual size," they said. "ASDA just can't seem to make underwear at standard sizings!!! I'm a 12, I've bought underwear from them a few times in a 12-14 and the way they fit is always disgusting..."

Perhaps whether the lingerie fits or not, is down to the model herself to decide. Campbell, who describes herself as a 'Baddie With a Belly' and 'here to help you fall in love with yourself' recently posted the same images in partnership with George at ASDA.

While of course they're marked as an ad, she said she is feeling 'fabulous' in them.

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The model and content creator's caption read: "I am feeling fabulous today!

"@georgeatasda have released three empower poses. And I was the lucky babe that got to try on all their lovely lingerie and show you my favourite, which is the Flamingo pose. Now I feel like the ultimate boss babe."

Many loved the photos too, commenting, "I need these in my life!!", "beautiful in every way", and "absolutely stunning".

The knickers Campbell can be seen wearing go up to a size 22 on the website, while the bras go up to a size 42F.

Models for George at ASDA. (George at ASDA/Instagram)
'The 'found-my-perfect-fit' face', says George at ASDA. (George at ASDA/Instagram)

Others also debated the sizes, with one querying, "Where are the A cups and why does 40 back start at C. Making a lot of women with smaller cup sizes not feel very included therefore amazing at all!!!!!" and another writing, "Well done ASDA just wish the bra's went up to bigger sizes. 40/42 H would be fab."

The lingerie campaign features other diverse models, including women with stretch marks, what appears to be vitiligo, and one in a wheelchair – a brilliant move towards inclusivity.

Read more: M&S praised for lingerie photo of model with 'beautiful body'

Kirsty Leanne, a plus-size content creator who also runs a plus-size travel website, 29, shares her views on the campaign. "Personally, I don't think that the underwear is too small," she says. "Essentially, I think people just aren't used to seeing what 'stylish' underwear looks like on plus size bodies.

"It's very rare that we see bodies of all sizes represented in lingerie campaigns and when we do, it's usually in high-waisted pants and full coverage bras. Olivia looks absolutely stunning and it's refreshing to see a mainstream brand share images of plus size people in their lingerie.

"However, they could have been more diverse with their marketing of the 'Anything But Basic' range on their website."

Olivia Campbell attends the launch of the Felicity Hayward x Playful Promises collection at The Court on November 27, 2019 in London, England. (Getty Images)
Olivia Campbell, aka @curvycampbell, attends the launch of the Felicity Hayward x Playful Promises collection in London, 2019. (Getty Images)

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Leanne thinks it's great they're using plus size models for the campaign, but says it's frustrating when not all the clothes come in her size.

"Some of the more 'stylish' sets, including the satin ones, only go up to a size 16. While I appreciate ASDA is trying to be more inclusive by sharing plus size bodies on their Instagram, it doesn't mean a lot if they're not going to offer all options in plus sizes (like their coats, for example, that go up to a size 32)."

Simone Charles, plus-size model and content creator, added, "The comments on this campaign show EXACTLY why campaigns like this are needed. The reality is, the same lingerie set won't fit the same on a size six, size 16 and size 26 body and we need to normalise seeing different body types. Olivia looks beautiful and feels confident – so that should triumph over everything else!"

Speaking on the lingerie campaign images, a spokesperson for ASDA said, "The new George lingerie campaign highlights a positive message around both diversity and inclusion. We strongly believe that people from all walks of life should be represented equally and do not tolerate abusive comments directed towards any group of people including those featured on our social media channels.”

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