One of the pitfalls of online swimsuit shopping is that, no matter your size or body shape, it’s almost impossible to imagine what a suit is going to look like on. Not to mention that swimsuit models tend to have unrealistic bodies that have been airbrushed to delete all signs of cellulite, stretch marks or creases. Until now.
Target is taking the online status quo to task by changing the swimwear marketing game this season with its latest campaign, which features real women untarnished by the Photoshop brush. “Finding your favorite style suit is important, and we’re all about offering flattering fit and cut options to help guests feel confident in their swimsuits,” said the company in a press release about the “Target Loves Every Body” campaign.
The splashy new Spring line available on Target’s website features swimwear in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes modeled by real women and influencers, including dancer Megan Batoon, professional skateboarder Lizzie Armanto, model Kamie Crawford, and body activist and “Sports Illustrated” model Denise Bidot.
But the best part is that the photos are more realistic than those found on most online shopping sites because they feature women with all kinds of bodies rocking bikinis, monokinis, one-pieces and tankinis. They're banking that customers are going to relate to these models in a way they haven't before.
“You’re bearing the most amount of skin in public when you’re in a swimsuit, so it’s important that it helps you feel confident so you can be completely yourself and enjoy every part of summer without the burden of insecurities,” said Batoon.
Swimsuit shopping is not something that traditionally helps women feel good about themselves. A 2012 study courtesy of Flinders University in Australia determined that trying on bathing suits seriously worsens a woman’s mood and can eventually lead to depression and eating disorders. In the study, women were given two scenarios — one in which they were alone trying on a bathing suit and the other where they were walking on a beach in a bathing suit surrounded by others.
The women were more likely to self-objectify alone in the dressing room. “Self-objectification has a variety of negative consequences — always worrying about how you look, shame about the body, and [it] is linked to eating disorders and depression,” one of the study’s researchers Marika Tiggemann, a psychologist at Flinders University in Australia, explained to LiveScience.
Unattainable ideals are nothing new in the fashion world, but perhaps Target’s latest campaign is moving us one step closer to a more realistic way to find flattering styles.
What Do YOU Think?
Do you think swimsuit shopping is stressful for women because of self-objectification? Is Target’s latest swimsuit campaign a positive step in retail advertising? Do you wish more companies would promote realistic body images in their ads?