A debate over the term plus-size is one that a person rarely wins. In the fashion industry, the debate revolves around the fact that some curvy models embrace the term and others hate it. U.K. retailer ASOS has recently found itself under fire after posting an image of Naomi Shimada, model and filmmaker, who wears a size 16 and dubbed her as “plus-size”.
Commenters and members of the plus-size community were quick to call out ASOS for labeling the model as “plus-size.” One commenter said, “Plus size!?!? How about just model. Why label her plus size? Just lost a lot of respect for you guys.”
A second commenter said, “I wouldn’t exactly call her plus size-more average.”
ASOS swiftly responded to the raging plus-size community by amending the Instagram post. The label plus-size was removed and replaced with “model and travel film-maker.” ASOS took it a step further and responded to the enraged plus-size community with comments stating that industry labels are not cool and that they removed them from the post on Instagram.
The decision ASOS made to remove the labels from the Instagram post and refer to the labels as “uncool” and “whack” only seemed to infuriate the plus-size community even more. To some members of the plus-size community, it was almost as if ASOS was calling the label plus-size itself “uncool” and “whack.”
ASOS slammed for branding plus size term 'whack' and 'uncool' – Daily Mail https://t.co/X9hKY2mKXw
— Syrup and Salt (@syrup_and_salt) July 12, 2016
The Huffington Post reports that members of the plus-size community are puzzled as to why ASOS made the decision to remove plus-size from the caption on the Instagram post given the fact that ASOS still uses the label on their website. Are they going to be consistent and remove it from the website too, or did they just remove it from the post on Instagram to appease the Instagram users leaving such aggressive comments?
The enraged plus-size community did not limit their attacks to Instagram either. ASOS also started to receive a backlash from the plus-size community on Twitter.
— Nomi (@Naomi_Griffiths) July 11, 2016
— Boombands (@boombands) July 11, 2016
“Oh @ASOS you f*cked up! I’ve been spending my plus size money with you for 10 years, but I guess I’ll take my whack plus size elsewhere,” one Twitter user commented.
A second Twitter user also commented with fury that the company decided to amend the post to remove the label, “WOOOAAAHHH @ASOS – what happened!!!! I thought you guys were on #plussize fashion in an epic way. Then you go & basically discredit us!”
“What is ‘un cool’/’whack’ about the term? You should probably look into removing the term ‘plus size’ from your site then if it’s so whack,” a third Twitter user commented, suggesting that ASOS should at least be consistent and remove the label plus-size from their website as well.
Daily Mail reports the company currently stocks clothing labeled “Curve & Plus Size” for women ranging between sizes 10 and 30. The clothing line also offers plus-size men clothing with the label “Oversized and Longline.”
Naomi Shimada, the model who initially sparked this controversy, has yet to come forward with a response or reaction to ASOS labeling her as a “plus-size” model followed by the retraction because it is an “uncool” label.
Regardless of if ASOS had removed the plus-size label or kept it with the post, it is clear it was going to make some members of the plus-size community unhappy. The question is, could the company have handled this differently in order to prevent enraging so many members of the plus-size community? The way the company handled the situation enraged both the members of the plus-size community who support the label and those who don’t.
Do you think things could have gone differently for ASOS and their connection to the plus-size community if they had never used the label to begin with? More importantly, will they be removing the “uncool” label from their website?
[Image via ShutterStock]