Many fashion brands have made strides in the journey towards inclusive representation, Target's new swimsuit ad demonstrates that fact perfectly. The image features Denise Bidot, a plus-size model, proudly showing her tummy stretch marks and cellulite as she's donning a sporty two-piece suit. It's enough to make anyone who's ever felt self-conscious or unsure of their body's "imperfections" smile — after all, what's not to love about stretch marks, anyways?
Considering Target's track record with body representation, this seems right on brand. For example, in the past they created a swimsuit campaign using diverse and differently sized Barbie dolls, which showed they wanted to increase their scope of body representation. The company also hired one of the first male plus size models that appeared in their catalog and website. While all of those were great steps towards inclusion and taking marketing efforts away from self-hate and channeling it into self-love instead, they never before openly featured stretch marks and cellulite — making this yet another step forward.
“Target believes every body is a beach body and wants you to love the way you look and feel in flattering and on-trend swimwear styles this season,” Target stated in an official press release. The image sends a much-needed message: If a brand truly believes that every body is a beach body and is beautiful, then there's no need to airbrush away things like stretch marks.
"I feel most confident in a two-piece suit with a high-waist bottom and a top that fits just right," Bidot said in a statement on Target's website. "When you're a curvy girl, it can be hard to find a suit that fits perfectly in all the right places, but Target definitely has accomplished that with their swimwear. Once you find that perfect suit that fits just right, it will give you an extra boost of confidence that will make your pool or beach day even better."
Casting a plus size model and showing that she's confident in her own un-airbrushed body is definitely helpful in reminding us that we can feel that way too, no matter what our "imperfections." According to Self, Target also cast three other diverse women in this campaign — the other faces of #TargetSwim include content creator and dancer Megan Batoon, professional skateboarder Lizzie Armanto, and TV host Kamie Crawford. Kudos to Target for continuing to push the boundaries — one can only hope that what they come up with next is even better.
Images: Courtesy Target