How Lingerie Brands Are Fighting Back Against Online Body Shaming

By 2012, when she was 25 years old, Graham had already been thinking about creating a lingerie line for her body shape. One day, while waiting on a photo-shoot set for the Canadian retailer Addition Elle, she spontaneously pitched the company’s vice president for marketing, who was sitting nearby. The director asked her for details on how her designs would be different from other lines out there.

“I lifted up my shirt,” says Graham. While pointing to different parts of the bra she was wearing that day, she explained where she would change the lace, trim, and fit. “It was literally one of those moments where I knew if I wouldn’t have asked, I would never have known.” Graham has been selling her line with Addition Elle since 2013.

When Graham created her #IAmSizeSexy hashtag, she knew she wanted it to become an empowering tool for women to use online. Curvy women already participate in vibrant communities online. Women propagate positive hashtags like #EffYourBeautyStandards and #HonorMyCurves through Twitter and Instagram, to stir discussion around curvy women and create a support network. “Whatever sort of hashtag you identify with, it’s incredibly political,” says Sarah Conley, a blogger and social media consultant. These hashtags, Conley says, help give women of all body shapes a collective voice to tell the fashion and media industries that they want to be respected and represented.

“The word ‘size’ had to be in it,” says Graham. “It’s brought a community together, especially for curvy women, who are supporting each other, lifting each other up. It’s actually bringing a sense of feeling that you belong on social media, because you get to find your community when you have that hashtag.”
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