When you think about brands that are too hot for TV, Lane Bryant isn’t the first clothing company that comes to mind. That’s because the plus-size store’s new TV spot isn’t full of sex and nudity. It doesn’t have highly sexualized imagery. Instead, it’s a classy black-and-white ad featuring full-figured women who aren’t ashamed of their bodies. Some are wearing skirts, some are wearing underwear, all are promoting the fact that there’s absolutely no shame in being a larger woman who shops at Lane Bryant. So, why was it banned?
According to Digiday, the commercial was rejected by major networks ABC and NBC for unspecified reasons that suggested that the commercial’s current iteration–in which women discuss what they love best about their bodies–was inappropriate and indecent. The commercial wasn’t banned per se, but Lane Bryant was told to rework it if they wanted their stores to be advertised on national TV. The move was surprising (or maybe not), considering how often we see “traditional” bikini bodies strutting around nearly nude in between segments of Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family. The message seems to be that bigger bodies are somehow obscene.
Of course, any exposure is good exposure, so Lane Bryant has taken advantage of the confusing ban by posting their commercial to Facebook, where it’s quickly gained a great deal of positive attention.
A Lane Bryant representative tells PEOPLE, “the THIS BODY campaign was meant to be a fun way for us to celebrate and honor women of all shapes and sizes.”
“What is too much for some does not hold true for others. All women should be celebrated and feel empowered to express themselves as they see fit. We want her to know she can attract as much media attention, look just as striking as any woman, and decide what beautiful means to her.”
The ad has already reached more than 800,000 viewers and been shared over 24,000 times. With that kind of promotion, the spot doesn’t even need to end up on TV to make it clear that body positivity is an important subject we need to see in mainstream media. And the support the ad is receiving–in both comments of women posting proud photos of their own bodies and the questions viewers are asking about why this ad was banned when the Victoria’s Secret fashion show is considered must-see TV–is priceless. No network can take that away!