In many parts of the country it’s still more ‘boot weather’ than ‘bikini weather’, but Target has us thinking about beach getaways (and body positivity) with its 2018 #TargetSwim collection.
Following the success of its unretouched 2017 swimwear campaign, the 2018 swimwear collection is modeled by women with diverse body types who haven’t had their curves or stretchmarks erased by photoshop.
We love how Target is showing real bodies in its swimwear ads, and what that means for moms. In a culture where we’re so often hearing about unrealistic celebrity “snap backs,” shopping for your first swimsuit after having a baby can be defeating. Our bodies are different from what they used to be, and often they’re also different from the ads all around us.
It can be so stressful to walk through a store filled with altered images of unrealistic bodies and then see your own very real body reflected back at you in the fitting room, dimples and all.
A 2017 study at Chapman University found “many women reported feeling worse about their bodies when shown media images of bikini or fashion models”
"Our results show that seeing slender and bikini-clad models had an immediate and direct impact on how women feel about their own bodies—and that impact was mostly negative," David A. Frederick, Ph.D, assistant professor of health psychology at Chapman University said in a press release.
It also suggests that other swimwear retailers might do well to follow Target’s lead, because nearly half of the women surveyed said seeing traditional bikini model images made them “less interested in wearing a swimsuit in public” (so probably less interested in buying one, too).
Even when we do want to buy a suit, finding something to take into the fitting room can be annoying, as some swimwear lines aren’t exactly inclusive with their styles and sizing, but Target is changing all that.
With 1,700 styles (including an expanded assortment of swimwear for all sizes) priced between $14.99 and $49.99, there truly is something for everyone in the swim department at Target, even pregnant mamas.
It’s not just the numerous styles, inexpensive price point or even the lack of photoshop that makes #TargetSwim so awesome: Having models of various sizes who are more representative of the average mom might even be more helpful than not retouching.
A 2013 study out of Ohio State University survey 106 men and 167 women, showing them photos of photoshopped and unaltered models and found that the models were considered attractive even in the unedited pictures. The study’s author, Matt Gordon, suggested it’s not photo retouching, but rather the selection of only one type of model over and over that leads consumers to perceive their own bodies negatively. “We need to focus more on the female figures chosen as models,” Gordon noted.
Cheers to Target for being more inclusive and diverse when casting models, and for helping moms find swimwear that makes us feel fabulous in the fitting room and at the beach (well, when it finally stops snowing). ?