In February 2015, Target launched their in-house plus-size clothing line, Ava & Viv, a decision that was meant to fill a void within the retailer’s clothing options while also promoting a body-positive outlook. Now, JCPenney is following suit with a plus line of their own, and their brand’s campaign is already garnering much attention.
According to Cosmopolitan, JCPenney’s new plus line, “Here I Am,” just released a stunning new commercial promoting the brand, filled with the some of the most recognizable names in pop culture. From fashion blogger GabiFresh to musician Mary Lambert to Project Runway alum Ashley Nell Tipton (who, according to Cosmo, is designing clothing for the retailer), the poignant video ad promotes fierce body positivity and unconditional self-love.
Each woman featured in the video shares her experience in being “plus-sized,” often detailing the ways in which she has been treated growing up because of her size.
“Would my life be better if I were thinner?” author and body-positivity advocate Jes Baker asked in the opening frame of the ad. “No. But it would be better if I wasn’t treated so poorly because I’m not,” she said as she answered her own question, later revealing that she was called “Hippo” growing up because of her size.
Tipton shared that she was a “target for people to make fun of or bash,” which made her ask herself, “What was wrong with me? Why was I so different?”
After each woman shared her story, Tipton’ statement that “The only person that should be defining me is me” ushered in a change in tone, with the video abruptly turning from heartbreak to a celebration of their unique bodies and inherent beauty.
The ad then shows each women doing what she loves — whether it be practicing yoga, designing clothes, posing for pictures, dancing or rock climbing, these women prove that living a full life is not inhibited by size.
Mary Lambert succinctly sums up the theme of the ad toward its conclusion, saying, “My size isn’t an indication of my worth.”
We couldn’t agree more.