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Refinery29, Lane Bryant and Aerie Address Plus-Size Gap in Retail

Sixty-seven percent of American women have been overlooked by retailers for too long and Refinery29 is doing something about it.

The digital media company, Aerie and Lane Bryant are working together on a new initiative dubbed The 67% Project, which advocates for better representation of plus-size women in retail and media outlets. The project will foster new partnerships, establish content strategy change and challenge audience perspectives about size representation from Sept. 26-Oct. 2, with the goal of initiating change across multiple industries.

The 67% Project represents the 67 percent of women in America who are a size 14 and up though they make up less than 2 percent of top media images curated for female audiences. The unfair bias of plus-size women has increased over recent years by 66 percent, where they are often perceived as “embarrassing,” “lazy” or “ugly.” The retail industry also hasn’t always kept plus-size women in its interests, with companies such as H&M confining its plus-size collections to digital spaces only. Refinery29, along with Aerie and Lane Bryant, aim to advocate for body positivity with The 67% Project and highlight the realistic representation of women in the U.S.

“This campaign is not about creating a standalone moment or a separate content strategy for plus-size women exclusively,” Refinery29 global editor-in-chief Christene Barberich said. “It’s about eliminating the walls that separate women or make them feel excluded, and it’s a chance to challenge ourselves and hopefully our peers in media to represent and reflect our audience in the most inspired and realistic way possible.”

Refinery29 is also bringing The 67% Project to their own editorial content, with more representation of women sizes 14 to 34 in their newsletter, photography, Snapchat Discover and Instagram. With guest creative director, actress Danielle Brooks, Refinery29 will curate fashion features and video testimonials to bring a spotlight to the plus-size female community.

“The fashion industry needs to step up its size inclusion, size 2 is not the norm for the majority of society and young girls need role models who look like them,” Brooks said. “I wish I had something like this growing up; showing successful, diverse, and gorgeous women of all shapes and sizes killing it across many walks of life and industries.”