Victoria's Secret Featured a Size 14 Model In a Collab with UK Lingerie Brand Bluebella
"Size 14 is actually the average size of women in America and I do think that we need to see more of it in media and fashion," said model Ali Tate Cutler.
For the first time, a size 14 model will be part of a Victoria's Secret campaign. Last week, the lingerie giant announced the launch of a new partnership with Bluebella, a London-based intimates brand on a mission to "empower" and "celebrate" women "who want to wear beautiful lingerie for themselves, every day."
The model, Ali Tate Cutler, opened up about how "surreal" this opportunity is for her in an interview with E! News.
"I never expected that I was going to see an image of myself on the wall next to these top supermodels that I have been looking up to since I was a little girl," she told the publication. "It feels amazing, I feel on top of the world."
For those who need a quick refresher, Victoria's Secret (its annual fashion show, in particular) has often been called out for its lack of inclusivity over the years. The brand's new campaign with Bluebella seems to be yet another attempt at redeeming itself after Ed Razek, former chief marketing officer of Victoria's Secret parent company L Brands, made controversial comments about transgender and plus-size models.
"Shouldn't you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don't think we should," he told Vogue at the time. "Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It's a 42-minute entertainment special…. We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still, don't."
Since then, not only has VS reportedly canceled its annual fashion show, but the company has also hired its first transgender model and added a slightly more size-inclusive angel to its roster. But, as far as this new campaign is considered, it's important to note that Cutler hasn't been officially hired to model for Victoria's Secret. She's actually associated with Bluebella and is part of the Victoria's Secret X Bluebella campaign, which will be featured in stores and on social media.
"Our LoveYourself campaign launched on Friday, featuring these four amazing women," the brand recently shared on Instagram. "This shoot was so special to us. Self-love, inclusivity, and diversity are at the heart of Bluebella and we wanted this campaign to reflect that."
Cutler hopes her involvement in the Bluebella and VS partnership will pave the way for other plus-sized models in the future.
"I feel like [Victoria's Secret is] headed in the right direction and they are listening to their audience who have requested to see more women of diverse shapes and sizes," she told E! News. "I think if they continue to head in that direction they will be on to a jackpot because that is reflective of what the average woman is in America."
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This article originally appeared on Shape.com