Torrid Using The “Body Positivity” Campaign to Sell Clothes

I love Torrid. It is honestly where 99% of my wardrobe comes from. However, some of their Instagram posts, specifically their most recent post, really irk me. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Torrid, they are a plus-size clothing shop. Instead of using sizes like “1X, 2X, and 3X” or “14,16,18,20,22” their sizes range from “00,0,1,2,3,4,5, and 6.” (Some of their jeans use the same standard measuring method as other stores but for the most part they use their 00-6 sizes). The size 00 is comparable to a medium and a 6 is a 6X. Not many designer brands go up to 1X let alone 6X and for that, I give them props. 

My problem is not that they have these sizes because it is my firm belief that everyone should have clothes that fit them good and make them feel good about themselves. However, this latest post (pictured below) really bothers me. I hate it when companies and people glorify being overweight because that is not something people should strive for. I understand that not everyone has the same body and trust me when I say that not everyone has to be stick thin, but just be healthy. Curvy girls are the best, I would know because I am one of them. However, being so heavy that it is seriously affecting your health is not something any company should promote.

Problem & Solution

 This girl depicted in Torrid’s latest Instagram post is beautiful and she has the right to feel that way. However, if Torrid would’ve placed her in workout clothes which would promote healthy habits, I wouldn’t have a problem. Instead, they have her wearing a dress with the caption “Walking into that party like…” so it gives the message that “you can still look good and not be healthy.” At least that is what it says to me. 

Looking at this from the marketing perspective, this is the time of year for parties, galas, and other charity events, so girls are buying more dresses. So Torrid wanted to capitalize on that and show that they have sizes for everyone. However, this is also the time of year for a lot of eating and a lot of people (myself included) are hitting the gym a little heavier this month to try and counteract all the extra food. Therefore, Torrid could have easily spun this in the other direction. They have an “Active Wear” line that is great, I would know because I own most it. However, they choose to capitalize on the “You-don’t-need-to-change-body-positivity-movement” and decided to post this picture. They are directly marking to girls who, thanks to pictures like these, feel that no matter how overweight and unhealthy they get, don’t have to change a single thing about themselves. Again, I would know because I used to be one of those girls. 

Take A Look Through My Eyes

About a year ago I had to go to the doctor for pink eye and I hated going to the doctor because that meant I had to get on the scale. When I stepped on the scale the number blew my mind, I weighed 356lbs. This was the first time I had known how much I weighed in a very long time. The doctor then took my blood pressure and the cuff that would normally go around your upper arm would not fit so they had to wrap it around my forearm. My blood pressure was 150/90 and even then I didn’t think anything was wrong. It wasn’t until I couldn’t fit on a rollercoaster at Universal did I decide that something needed to change. I believed for so long that no matter how big I got everything was going to be ok thanks to the thousands of ads just like this one. 

Now I have lost 85.2 lbs and my blood pressure has returned to normal and I loathe every single ad or promotion like this one. Being this overweight is not ok and it should not be promoted as such, regardless of if you want to sell more dresses this holiday season.