This New Swimsuit Ad Has a Serious Diversity Problem
Solid & Striped, you can do better than this.
Solid & Striped’s latest line of model-designed swimwear has everyone talking. Rather than the styles, however, the conversation has centered on the faces of the brand. In this new ad, 13 members of the line’s “Swim Team 2018”—all donning white bathing suits—represent a roster lacking diversity in body type and skin tone.
Of the 13 women (Lily Aldridge, Hailey Clauson, Jourdan Dunn, Hannah Ferguson, Isabeli Fontana, Toni Garrn, Jessica Hart, Elsa Hosk, Eniko Mihalik, Carolyn Murphy, Barbara Palvin, Natasha Poly, and Josephine Skriver), Dunn is the only black model featured. On top of that, these women (many of whom model for Victoria’s Secret and SI Swim) don't reflect the wide range of body shapes and sizes of real women.
The Instagram post has nearly as many comments as it does likes, with many calling out their concerns about the ad. While the creative team behind it is using phrases like “A team” and “dream team” to describe the selection, the ad isn't receiving much praise from viewers and consumers alike.
“Where’s the diversity @solidandstriped??” one commenter said. “This is so disappointing. Also based on this pic I’m definitely not thin enough to shop here, so I won’t.”
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“Wow skinny white girls! Never seen that one before,” another wrote. “What a great example to young impressionable girls about their bodies.”
“As a size 10, I’d never want to buy a product that shows one type of body,” one Instagrammer added. “Sry. Call me when you need a curvy gal.” Another begged the question, “Is it a new rule that only white girls, tall, skinny and young girls may go to the beach?”
Perhaps the ad is indicative of a greater problem: Solid & Striped’s sizing. All suits are available in XS, S, M and L and only caters to women who are sizes 0-8.
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This ad was unveiled just one day after Ashley Graham released her fifth swimsuit collection for Swimsuits for All. One post getting lots of love? A video the body-positive model-designer shared of her and her mom working on their poses in bikinis. For her latest shoot, Graham enlisted her mother, among others, to showcase the new swimsuit line.
"I haven't worn a bikini since the 80s!" Graham’s mom, Linda, said in a press release. "I don't think I could have uncovered that inner strength without Ashley. That makes being a part of this campaign so much more special—she's my rock and inspired me at age 53 to be proud of my body again after I lost my own fortitude."