In the past, Victoria’s Secret has come under fire for a lack of diversity in its campaigns and runway shows.
But the lingerie brand is now hoping to not only appeal to, but represent, plus sizes by casting a size UK18 model in its latest campaign.
Taking to Instagram to reveal details of her Bluebella for Victoria’s Secret shoot, curvy model Ali Tate Cutler shared that she is the first plus size model the brand has ever hired.
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At the launch today for @victoriassecret and @bluebella at their flagship store in NYC. I believe I’m the first size 14 on @victoriassecret? Regardless I’m pretty stoked to work with a brand I idolized when I was a teen. Great step in the right direction for bodies. Available online @victoriassecret and at select stores across the country and UK.
“I’m pretty stoked to work with a brand I idolized when I was a teen. Great step in the right direction for bodies,” she added.
But not everyone is happy with the brand’s decision to cast a model who has been accused of fat-shaming other plus size women in the past, after Ali posted a comment on Instagram in 2016 in response to Alysse Dalessandro's article "11 Reasons Your ‘Concern’ for Fat People’s Health Isn’t Helping Anyone".
In it, Ali suggested that while vegetarians and vegans can be fat, "being obese is simply bad for the environment, and in this day and age, we cannot afford that lack of empathy anymore."
Taking to Twitter, Fashionista.com's Tyler McCall has suggested that hiring someone who has been accused of fat-shaming in the past to front a plus size campaign is problematic.
And while Ali hasn’t responded to these concerns directly, it seems the way she thinks and talks about body image has evolved since then, and has candidly revealed details of her own battle to accept her shape.
Taking to Instagram, the model who has also fronted clothing brand Reformation's first foray into more inclusive sizing, admitted that she initially struggled with the label “plus size” when she started modelling, as she had always tried to hide the fact that she was bigger.
However, when she started to see other plus size models embrace their bodies, she started “rewiring” her perception of beauty, and is now urging her followers to do the same.
“I realized I too could be gorgeous, at any size,” she shared, and in a separate post, said that "operating from a space of understanding and love is the way, especially about ourselves" - and you can't really argue with that.