Retailers have been having a rocky year. While some ads have completely missed the mark (uh, MJB’s Burger King debacle comes to mind), others, like Belvedere Vodka’s rapey ad, were down right offensive.

But somewhere between Vogue Italia’s ode to ghetto haute messes, and FHM’s “dark shadows” disaster, we find a few gems like H&M’s new swimwear campaign which features women–across the size spectrum–showing what their mama and the good Lord gave them.

When I first saw H&M’s new swimwear ad featuring a Vicky P., a bronzed-up, curvy goddess, I nodded my head in appreciation. Like most American women, Vicky is north of a size 8, but unlike many of us she’s standing proudly in her two-piece glowing for the cameras. And as someone who just had the toughest time finding the right bathing suit for my trip to the Bahamas, seeing Vicky looking so damn beautiful gave me a shot of confidence.

In a world in which most women look more like Vicky than Kate Moss, I applaud H&M for reminding us that even if you look nothing like the stick-thin models we normally see (or even if you do), that we should love and appreciate ourselves…no matter what size we are.

  • edub

    This woman is flawless!!

  • omfg

    um, flawless after her photos have been processed and touched up…

  • H

    Lol. She looks good, but the average American woman north of a size 8 doesn’t look like her. I’m all for celebrating different body types, but most American women don’t have curves like her. They have rolls. I think many men especially black men would like a woman like her, but if you threw some rolls on her belly they would find her much less attractive.

  • Sasha

    Now you know the women here don’t like hearing the truth of the matter when it comes to body image, shame on you!

  • Yulez

    I’m not sure how I feel about women of a certain size being in swimwear. I don’t wear it. You’ve gotta know your limits. It has nothing to do with you being confident, and everything to do with you looking appropriate.

  • Muse

    She’s beautiful!

  • jamesfrmphilly

    fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables…….

  • tmc

    She is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shanna

    This is mighty ironic! I’m ioving Vicky; but, sorry H&M beauty doesn’t end at a 14 either. I remember when they used to carry Plus sizes as well. What happened there? I currently wear 12 from H&M but I just think this “celebration” of all sizes is just a little less inclusive then it could’ve been especially when they used to cater to everyone. Great Job to ALL the Beautiful Women in the campaign. H&M’s efforts aren’t going unrecognized nonetheless.

  • Ang

    Why Does H&M Or ANY Retailer Have To Remind/Validate Something That As Women We Already Know ?!

  • edub

    I can’t argue with you there. She is beautiful, though.

  • sunday

    1.) H&M doesn’t care. They’re banking into an obvious market.
    2.) As someone stated above, the average woman north of a size 6 or 8 doesn’t look like her. While I wholeheartedly agree with not making someone feel less of a human because of how they look I just can’t get with the plus size glorifying, sorry. I lost a grandmother to diabetes and other health issues who swore up and down she was fine just how she was. She died at 65. I know, I know, we’re gonna have someone come in here and say just because someone is skinny doesn’t mean they’re healthy, a bigger woman can be healthier than a thinner one, and so on. The fact of the matter is our bodies are designed with a healthy range for our individual frames, and too many folks in America are missing the mark. It makes me sad really. Sure, they may not have significant health issues now but it will catch up to them in the long run.

    As a side note, I’m interested in seeing the pre-photoshopped pics from her shoot.

  • Hope

    Yes, she looks beautiful but she doesnt represent many overweight women who have flabby arms, stomachs, backs…

  • iQgraphics



    this woman is making me drool

  • Ann

    I think this sends all the right messages and I’m extremely happy H&M is running this ad. As a young woman “well north of a size 8″ who was always the “big girl” in school I think it’s necessary for girls and young women to see models who look like them or their mothers, teachers etc. It’s healthy for us to see people who resemble people in our lives as opposed to size 00 models who are Photoshopped in order to appear healthy.
    I’m not saying that being big is necessarily healthy or that we should “glorify obesity”, I’m just saying that the pressure young women feel to be thin needs to be alleviated. If you’re a healthy size 14 than more power to you.

  • Anon

    Ugh. Why is the fat girl black? All of those thin fit women of other races, and we get the overweight one.

  • CurlySue

    Lol then what should they wear to the beach/pool? Jeans and a sweater?

  • Jessica

    Interesting point…

  • Natalie B.

    I think she looks beautiful.

  • omfg

    because black women are often the first women to talk up how great being overweight is. so, they use us. we don’t have a problem being fat, they figure.

    i don’t blame them for this assumption. we promote it amongst ourselves. i actually don’t think many many black women have a problem being fat/overweight.


  • Erica

    yep, its always the big black woman.

  • Britni Danielle

    FYI: Everything ain’t about being black.

    Their ads also include Tara Lynn, a non-black plus size model (, but considering our site is for/about/by black women…I chose to showcase Vicky who looked AMAZING.

    Thanks for reading!

  • iQgraphics

    I could be biased… ok, ok… I am, but IMO, ethnic women wear weight better.

  • The Taker

    Ummm..How about you and other people stop worrying and obsessing over what other people look like or wear. Try focusing on enjoying your own life and let people “of a certain size” enjoy theirs. Insecurity is a beast.

  • nola

    She is not a size 8.

  • Adiatc

    This is a great thing!! And she is beautiful. But I agree with some of posters here. She is not what the majority of size 8+ looks like. This model is thick and curvy but looks healthy. A lot overweight or obese women carry a good deal of fat around their mid sections, which does not make their bodies look attractive. A woman’s waist size should not go above 35 inches if she plans to remain healthy.

  • Anon

    “because black women are often the first women to talk up how great being overweight is.”——-> But everyone always knows those women are lying to cover up their emotional issues or eating disorders.

    I want a THIN young black woman in a bathing suit in national ads, not one that is a happy meal away from a gut. Because most women that size are no longer proportional, so those ads are definitely giving some false hope.

  • Anon

    So… … … they have ONE(!) fat white model out of all of the thin ones? That’s just proving my point!

  • binks

    True, but if you notice MOST plus size models don’t look like your average plus size woman. Most plus size models are larger (by fashion standards) but in real world standards most PS models are still similar than the typical overweight woman they are just very statuesque and proportional. Also there are claims that many plus size models uses padding to make themselves appear bigger than what they actually are so I never got the notion that plus size models represents “real women” when for most they don’t. But the model looks fab! I like the message H&M is trying to send regardless though, I think people have to remember to take it in context.

  • The Comment


    I agree w/u. I feel that overweight women have shoved this ‘big is beautiful’ agenda down my throat to the point that I’m disgusted everytime the subject as weight comes up.

    I’m not fat nor have a weight problem but I figure now is a great time to be Plus size. The clothes are just as beautiful for everyone nowdays. Big girls are being marketed to and not ignored.

    But why is it Sherry Shepherd can tell Susan Luchi that she is 50 and is still a size two but if someone called her a Elephant or asked her why she hasn’t had a boob reduction…she walk of the stage in tears?????

    From what I’m reading is that larger black women WANT ME to believe that their size is natural for all black women. To be skinny is not natural. Why is this weight issue so polorizing. So much negativity. It is the new class war.

  • The Comment

    Is that Kimbella?

  • omfg

    i think the point is that it seems a black model is more likely to be used if she is plus-sized. in a lot of plus-sized ads/promos they rarely shy away from using a chubby black woman.

    in movies, tv, etc. a black woman is probably more likely to be fat than lean and gorgeous.

    so, it’s valid to question why it seems like we are more likely to be shown as fat and happy than the leaner, smaller bombshell that gets the man.

    i can’t psychoanalyze black women who are overweight. i take them at their word; they don’t mind being overweight, according to them and their actions.

    i mean, if the message is constantly communicated that black women will not exercise because of their hair or they see us getting arse injections or whatever, you sorta get the impression that girth is not an issue for us.

    and it’s not just about poorer black women, middle class, educated black women are fat too. seems like they don’t mind…shrugs again…

    but, in fairness, everybody is fat/overweight/obese nowadays. we just seem to be the leaders in fat acceptance. i sometimes think others get this rhetoric from us.

  • A Lo

    You are so right! I love that H&M has a voluptuous model but they did get rid of their plus size line. I was disappointed when that happen.

  • chanela

    Crazy ironic! i JUST had this discussion on my facebook page last night. the whole “plus size” thing confused me cause most of the models on google images had super flat toned stomachs and looked only slightly bigger than victoria’s secret models. none of them had any backfat to speak of for most of them ,their thighs barely touched together (my personal qualifiers for fat vs skinny). it’s unbelieveable but i guess in their standards they pick women who carry their weight in a way that they don’t have unattractive backfat,cellulite,rubbing thighs,or even double chins.

  • A Lo

    Thank you Binks! Your response was absolutely right. I consider myself a plus size girl and I get somewhat annoyed when a voluptuous woman with no obvious excess fat is considered plus size. The model Vicky represents an average woman who we don’t see often in advertisements or fashion magazines. I’m glad to see Vicky in all her curvy glory. It reminds me how beautiful curves can be when you maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise routine.

  • apple

    I wonder the same thing. I’ve seen several ads from them with men children women Asians , waiting to see a black face , I finally see one and she’s fat

  • chanela

    omg how crazy ironic! i was JUST discussing this on my facebook page yesterday. i guess they only choose “plus size” women who don’t have the unattractive parts about being “fat”. i was confused on what “plus size” is actually supposed to be because i’m a size 7 and even i have unforgiving backfat,cellulite, and my thighs rub together but these plus size models surprisingly don’t. if anything they have flatass toned stomachs, thighs, and arms. it’s confusing.

    yeah i’m done with models. lol

  • Candy 1


  • MK

    she sure looks like Kimbella, but I don’t think is she

  • Chris Ford

    I will hold off on applauding H&M until I can find a pair of size men’s 40 pants in one of their stores.

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    The article said she was NORTH of a Size 8. As in ‘higher than an 8′.

  • R

    One more chicken wing……………………………………….

  • The Brides’ Maid

    I love this! It’s easy to design for a size 6 body. You know which designers have true talent when they know how to design for all body types. Nice work H&M!

  • rlizak

    As much as I believe that companies shouldn’t be using stick thin malnourished people to model their clothing or even their ideas, I don’t think that plus size women are much better. Neither of which show what a healthy body should look like.
    One praises the lack of food and the yearning to look gangly while the other promotes eating excessively and that having a second chocolate bar without exercising is okay.

    We need athletes for models. I believe that women don’t find muscular women to be beautiful because it’s not out there. Men don’t want women to be strong. Working out, getting in shape physically and mentally is what many fear. If women can do something physical on their own then what is the use of man? That is the fear.

    Women should know that having muscle, being able to run 5 miles without being out of breath, and lift 40+ lbs isn’t a negative. It’s positive. Being healthy mentally and physically is a beautiful thing. Having excess fat or the LACK of fat is no where near a good thing.

  • Anon

    WOOOO. Okay, I rolled on that one. I said Happy Meal, but your wings comment had me laughing out loud!

  • lulu


  • susie

    Love the ad, bring on more of ladies who look like me! But give her a top that fits her please? It looks uncomfortable. It always drives me crazy because they do this with the Victoria Secret girls, they cram them into tops no one would wear in public. You gotta support the ladies, not smash em in!

  • Yulez

    @TheTaker Insecurity IS a beast!

  • YogaRae

    For reals? You are able to look at the model above for one split second and judge, in all of your wisdom, that she is unheathily overweight?! e
    1) I am terribly terribly sorry that you have such a poor self image that you cannot look upon a beautiful woman without tearing her apart and dubbing her “too fat” or “too thin.”
    2) I am equally sorry that you believe by your eyes alone that you can assess someone’s physical fitness level (you seem pretty sure of yourself when you assume that she cannot “run 5 miles without being out of breath, and lift 40+ lbs.”)
    An unhealthy lifestyle is detrimental to whomever is living it. Critisism and judgement and assumptions (and unsolicited advice, and “I’m just concerned for her HEALTH! For cripes sake!! Her HEALTH!!”) is even more harmful.

  • Jill

    Curvy women deserve to love their bodies and have attractive clothing! No shame in showing it off, either.

  • Hayley

    I agree with rlizak, who said plus size is no better than stick thin. Both are unhealthy states for the body to be in. Neither should be promoted.

  • Alexandra

    I see the resemblance too, but her cheekbones seem higher. They’re both gorgeous though.

    Props to H&M, by some of these comments you think they put Norbit’s wife in a swimsuit.
    It’s very likely the model is overweight or even obese, but no one can deny that it doesn’t look so because her body fat is more evenly distributed. She looks damn good!

  • Mel

    It bothers me that you make the association with people being over weight and “being able to run 5 miles without being out of breath.” I’m over weight and have struggled with this my entire life – long before I was educated or old enough to be making my own healthy choices. Yet I just ran a 10K in a decent time. For you unfamiliar with the metric system, that’s more than 5 miles. (And no, my lungs didn’t fail me, but I so appreciate your concern).

    I think that the above campaign is something that has been missing from our culture since the bombshells of the 50s and 60s. Those women were beautiful and they weren’t necessarily paper-thin or athletic. They were average.

    Even though I do believe that this shows progress, I would caution us all to remember that a woman’s beauty encompasses so much more than just a hot body. I’d way rather be chubby, smart, funny, and kind than Rail thin and known as a bitch. That’s all.

  • E.M.S.

    Wonderful! I’m really glad more clothing companies are starting to get it. She makes me want to head over to H&M and find a swimsuit too :)

  • Elizabeth Bettendorf

    I think that some people may need to be reminded that “plus-size” in the modeling world does not mean that the women are over weight or unhealthy. Many women run marathons and are considered “plus-size”. Some women who look healthy don’t take good care of themselves at all.

  • H

    Exactly. I don’t have anything against women that are her size, but as a black woman I have a problem with black women always being shown as overweight. The worst part is that many black women are okay with it!!!! No. They actually encourage it. Look at Allison Randall. She’s happy to be fat.

    Turn on the TV. Look at all the black women on network TV. A lot of them are overweight especially when you consider the small number of black women on TV. The few black women on network TV shows are overweight. Amber Riley can sing and is beautiful, but look at all the other women on Glee – a bunch of fit, thin, non-blacks!

    For some reason black women get excited when we are constantly portrayed as fat, loud, ghetto, and unsophisticated. I don’t have a problem with this particular ad, but everything altogether is a problem. When black women are finally shown as fit and beautiful in movies, they are probably ghetto or oversexed. Black women who are pleasant and successful are just about always fat in movies.

  • sarah

    She’s a 10, tops. This is not a plus size model, just a curvy one. I love the shot, and she’s lovely, but all you people yelling about overweight and fat need to get some perspective.

  • aurora

    Many plus sized models ARE healthy. How much fat you have on you has very little to do with your actual fitness level. While its good to have muscular women too, your comments come from a place of ignorance. Everyone has a different natural body shape and they should be taught to love it. Most ‘plus sized’ models are not even that big.

  • elaine

    @rlizak While I find some of your reasoning flawed (who is running 5 miles without breating hard?!?) I agree with you. While it is important to see a variety of healthy images, as beautiful as she is, this model is clearly overweight, now that doesn’t mean that she is not healthy but she is overweight (and photoshopped). I think there is a balance that can be found.

  • MrTruthTeller

    Once again I love size 12 sistah’s :)

  • rlizak

    First off, to clarify for those who assumed that I called her ugly, I don’t consider her to be ugly. I think that she is beautiful. Beauty does come in all different shapes and sizes.

    Secondly, people who have excess body fat on their bodies are known to be less healthy than those who have more muscle or even those with less. If you have 50+lbs of fat on your body, I can guarantee you are not feeling that awesome. And if you think you are, try losing it and see how great you feel after.

    I know this because I use to be 180. I’ve dropped 30lbs and I feel great. Not just physically fit, but my body feels good because it gets the proper nutrients. It isn’t fed a consistent stream of junk food and pop tarts anymore.

    To Mel: It’s quite rude of you to even try to assume that I don’t know the metric system. Also, you probably are assuming that by overweight, I mean 10lbs of fat. Which I don’t. 10lbs of fat isn’t HORRIBLE. No one is the same. So no one can say, you’re 5’10 you need to weigh 140. No. Everyone’s bodies build muscle and hold fat differently.

    All I was trying to get across is where are the fitness models? where are those promoting a healthy amount of muscle and fat? where are the people saying “don’t get the Big Mac?” Where are the people telling you it’s better to eat fruit than a second piece of cake? You don’t have to completely cut out junk food and crap. However, one should eat things in moderation.

    Being overweight causes extra weight on your bones which can force cause bone deformities. Many overweight people have asthma and have troubles sleeping. Diabetes is extremely common. There are so many other things that are just as serious if not more so. My brother used to stop breathing in the middle of the night because he was 100lbs overweight. So, to those who think I’m a mere child bashing on fat people, I’m not. I’ve been there and know closely people who are. And it’s not healthy to be at that state.

    Also, I never said that she is out of shape. That she can’t run x-amount of miles or lift x-amount of weights. I said women should be able to look up to someone who can.

    Also, the women very well is probably in shape unless they photoshopped her stomach to be thin and not flabby. You can’t have curves like that and a flat stomach unless you work out and are in shape. However, I do have a feeling that they did a little photoshop because the stomach is generally one of the last regions to lose weight. Yet, she could be one to hold her weight in her limbs. I doubt it though. SO, even on your dear plus size models, they too are photo shopped to have trim flat stomachs with no muscle or anything. They might have curves but fake ones at that.

  • Rachel

    A lot of these comments are hinting at an important point.

    This model isn’t stick thin, but, as we’ve noticed, she’s “beautiful,” “curvy,” “voluptuous,” “sexy,” “not plus-sized,” “well-proportioned,” and she doesn’t look like most women of similar weight.
    The media should allow all women to feel positively about their bodies, and in that respect, this is a positive move. But the message being sent to women and girls is still that our value as a person is based on our bodies. This ad is still sending the message that there is a certain *right* way to have a body, even though it’s admitting an incrementally wider definition of a *right* body.
    This blog post (not mine) goes a bit more into this idea and expands on it:

    But, as another commenter pointed out, this is largely a clever H&M marketing scheme (maybe trying to repair their reputation after this?:, and I will be amazed if we ever see a truly body-positive ad. Sex still sells.

  • Ms. Information

    @ rlizak…having muscular women like Serena wouldn’t be realistic either, how many women do you see walking around like that? It is also not the way many women would like to look….

  • Paula

    This is just another “okey doke” from the white media and society wanting to make black women feel that it is okay to be big and over weight. If black women started making an effort to become a size 8 or less then we would be more of a threat than we already are.

  • Miss J

    I love that picture she looks damn good

  • Miss J

    I’m sorry but she looks beautiful and I don’t think she is photoshopped Common ladies your comments are prettry harsh i’m pretty sure if most of you put your pictures up there you will probably face the same comments. There is beauty in every shape and shades

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  • pamela

    All of us know someone who is not “Ideal” in size by society’s standards. Plus size is no better than stick thin,recently I’ ve found to be extremely helpful and useful web dating site;meetbigpeople.c0m,offers the big women and men with a pure land to meet quality friends and singles to develop friendship, romance and marriage. Hope you will like it.

  • Anon

    If she’s a model, then she’s taller than the norm. I’m a tall woman. I’m not even thin, I’m average. I could stand to lose 20 lbs. I’m a size 8 currently. Trust me on this one. Ole’ girl is NOT at size 10. And definitely not in H&M sizes. 14-16. Ain’t no size 10 zipper making it all the way up.

  • Anon

    THANK YOU Paula!!!! I don’t think a lot of the women who are complimenting this really understands the LEVEL of shade pretty THINNER black women get once EVERY kind of man starts checking you out. And some of it comes from heavier black women who try to feed or shame you into being their size. Why can’t we be held to the same fit standard that every other group is? I don’t want to be the “different” one. I want to be a woman. Just like errrrbody else. Fat acceptance for white folks doesn’t work the same way for us, especially for the group that wants to take it to the extreme. Back fat ain’t sexy.

  • rlizak

    Do any of these women look to be men in drag?

    Having muscle, doesn’t make you manly. Women think that lifting weights and getting strong makes you look like a body builder.

    Since I’ve only received rude messages in response. If you’re fat, you’re out of shape. You can be skinny and be out of shape as well. If you have more than 30lbs of fat on your body, it probably isn’t doing your body any good. this chick is overweight and out of shape. We shouldn’t use plus size models or “plus sized models” because it makes stupid women think that have 30lbs of excess fat on their body is healthy.
    I’m not stating it is ugly. I am stating it isn’t healthy. One shouldn’t be okay with excess amounts of weight on their frame. It’s not healthy for ones body. So to say again. Not necessarily ugly. However it is unhealthy.

  • au napptural

    Well, idk but I do agree with Paula. Black women are so gorgeous at any size that when we are small white women pale in comparison. They don’t want to see it. On the other hand, this model is fine either way and she looks much better than the plus size white girl.

  • Sasha

    I wonder what this picture looked like before it was photoshopped

  • Isis

    She is pretty but definitely bigger than a 10

  • C

    No, they don’t look like men, most of them look like they have been starving themselves. The women in the links have a sickly look about them. Not because they are somewhat muscular rather you can see the bones under their skin. Very few men (real men) would look at them and consider them very attractive at all. They have that POW camp survivor look about them. Being slim, tone and with a bit more weight on them would increase their likely hood of a healthier life tremendously.

    The model in the two photo’s above looks just fine however, there needs to be more of our women that have her build AND underlying healthy muscle tone like her. The reality is, we suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes at a much higher rate due to inactivity and a horrible diet. Babydoll looks fantastic but it’s how she got there is my only concern. The calf of her leg might be telling a positive story of a woman that’s using exercise for what it’s meant for (to keep the cholesterol and other issues at bey). There’s no indication of a muffin roll or flab to be found on her body.

    As a concerned black man, I want our women to be comfortable with how they look but also keep the mechanical’s in good working order. A long healthy life beats a shorter unhealthy one and seems to be common sense.

    Pretty baby in the photo’s doesn’t need to lose one pound just make sure the ones she has are healthy ones. It looks like she’s already achieved that goal quite well.

  • C

    Come on now, ALL photo’s are airbrushed. I personally hate them all however, baby-girl’s photo’s look just fine. Like I’ve always said it’s not necessarily the pounds, it’s how she got them.This woman looks just fine in general and if it came from a healthy diet and exercise, she’s a home run all day long. Women don’t have to look muscular and buff to be in good physical shape.

    That skinny, heroin addict look so many models have are derived from the Caucasoid Gay male image of what a woman is supposed to look like NOT the ideal of a Heterosexual man. If you step back and look at the male designers of most of the clothing for women, you will see the obvious.

  • lynn

    I come from a culture that praises heavy women. I was raised on the islands and the bigger the better. While I believe the picture above shows a beautiful woman, she can in no way be compared to the bombshells of the 50s and/or 60s. In general women of that era were smaller than their present day counterparts. Even women like Marilyn Monroe whom many use as an example of plus-sized beauty would never be considered plus size should she be living today. You have only to go shopping for vintage clothes from that time to understand that the referenced Bombshells would be a size 8 or 10 today.
    I find it interesting that you mentioned you’d rather be chubby, kind and funny, rather than rail thin and considered a bitch. It reminded me of an article i just read that you might find interesting. Its a study about stereotyping women based on their weight (i.e assuming women who are thin are bitchy, conceited and superficial, while women who are heavy are warm, lazy, and passive).

  • Chocl8child

    In the fashion world, plus size can start at a size 8, depending on measurements.

    My mantra is work what you got…whatever it is. Know your limitations and what works best for you, but don’t look to a magazine or clothing line to determine what that needs to be.

  • FluffyFro

    It’s great to see black women and curvy women represented here….but that two piece does not fit well at all. The second one looks great. But it’s really just showing that their clothing truly does not fit the “plus sized” woman if they can’t even get it right in their advertisements…especially the larger chested woman (none of their clothing is for larger chested women…)

  • Rhonda Jordan

    I recently had the courage to post myself on fb in a two piece I Ian a plus size also and 60 years old wish I could post it! I felt do good!

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