Image Diversity in the Lingerie Business
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We are living in uncertain times, and we see that things are more frightening for some of our customers than for others! We talked a lot last week about letting our love shine through in the face of violence, racism, and hatred currently simmering around our nation. But what can we do to actively create space for this love?
After the presidential election last year, our founder Judy felt moved to act in some way, even if that way was hard. She gave each of her employees a raise, believing that her business bottom line should be about more than profit margin.
Our bottom line at Levana Bratique is to find the perfect bra for every woman. For the past decade, we have sought out bras for women with larger bodies and larger breasts. Along the way, we've had an often-frustrating experience finding images that reflect body diversity. It matters that the industry centers images of slender, white models.
Do an online image search for "lingerie," and you'll have to scroll for awhile before you find a larger body or a woman of color.
If our vendors aren't using body diverse models, we haven't had diverse images to share! Judy has tried everything from modeling bras herself to conducting photo shoots in the shop while she seeks out images that reflect the broad range of women we serve.
In the past few years, we've been pleased to see models of size (and different ages!) showcasing the beautiful bras we sell...but we are still working to find images of women of color. One active way we can make a difference is by speaking to our vendors about the models they use.
We get so excited when new products like the Ultimate Sports Bra (main photo) or the Goddess Adelaide strapless bra send us images reflecting true diversity. But we don't want that to be exciting--we want diverse images to be normal. We want every woman to see herself in our store, to see herself in our products, and to feel welcome with us here. We know that means working to make sure every woman is represented. We promise, we will keep working on it every day.
In the mean time? It's important to speak out in response to everyday bigotry. We've been doing a ton of reading, because we know we have so much to learn. This article was so helpful for us in learning ways to speak up in the face of hate.