Myla Dalbesio, the Calvin Klein Ad Campaign, and Body Image
The Internet has been abuzz today with a story about a certain model and whether or not her size 10 frame constitutes being “plus-size.” The model in question: Myla Dalbesio, a brunette beauty who recently landed a coveted spot in Calvin Klein’s new lingerie campaign “Perfectly Fit.”
On Friday, Elle.com published an article titled "Myla Dalbesio on Her New Calvin Klein Campaign and the 'Trend' of Plus Size Modeling." The social media sphere was not happy about that description of Dalbesio. In fact, several outlets covered the story, including New York magazine's The Cut and Yahoo Style. The Daily Mail pointed out that some of the complaints were directed at Elle, while other people were instead furious with Calvin Klein. (Not surprisingly, Elle later changed the headline to "Myla Dalbesio on Her New Calvin Klein Campaign and the Rise of the 'In-Between' Model."
Now here’s the truth: Calvin Klein never called the model plus size. It was Dalbesio who identified herself that way while explaining to Elle.com that she thought the campaign was evidence of progress in the modeling industry.
“It’s not like [Calvin Klein] released this campaign and were like ‘Whoa, look, there’s this plus size girl in our campaign.’ They released me in this campaign with everyone else; there’s no distinction. It’s not a separate section for plus size girls,” she said.
And to be fair, Elle.com did express discontent that the fashion industry would "still, surprisingly" consider Dalbesio to be plus size. It's just that people read the headline, saw her dress size, and totally freaked out.
A spokeswoman for Calvin Klein told The New York Times the company simply wanted to show that their new line is intended for a myriad of sizes. She was quoted as saying: “The new Calvin Klein Underwear Perfectly Fit imagery features models Myla Dalbesio, Jourdan Dunn, Amanda Wellsh, Ji Hye Park and the face of the brand, Lara Stone, in several styles. The Perfectly Fit line was created to celebrate and cater to the needs of different women, and these images are intended to communicate that our new line is more inclusive and available in several silhouettes in an extensive range of sizes."
In other words, Calvin Klein is taking the fall for something that is clearly not their fault. Instead of bashing the brand, we should be giving them kudos for stepping outside of the fashion industry’s size two comfort zone and showcasing a beautiful woman, with a beautiful body, who also happens to be bigger than your average model. Or can we at least acknowledge that this is a minor victory in the larger battle of body image?