Despite the strides plus-size models have made over the years at nabbing a stake in the industry and making a name for themselves, the definition of a plus-size model and how she should be photographed and represented continues to be a struggle for many brands. Target, however, took this struggle to an entirely new level by somehow confusing a pregnant woman for a plus-size model. One can imagine the controversy that ensued, but we will outline it for you here.
The photo has since been removed by Target from their website, but Jezebel was able to grab a screenshot of a maternity model posing in the brand’s Merona Women’s Plus-Size Short-Sleeve V-Neck Maxi Dress in Black/Cream. Of course, the controversy here was whether Target decided to just hire a maternity model to represent plus-size clothing and hope that no one would notice or ask any questions, or whether this was just a totally unfortunate accident.
The Huffington Post implored a Target representative for an explanation and received this in response: “We apologize for any discomfort or offense this error might have caused. As soon as we were made aware of the error, we worked to remove the image from Target.com. This error was completely unintentional and the result of an unfortunate oversight. We appreciate the error being called to our attention and will work hard to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
So it was just an error, apparently, but an offensive and unfortunate one nonetheless. Target has created such controversy before, having once labelled a “Dark Heather Gray” dress in regular sizes as a “Manatee Gray” in plus sizes. Accidents do happen, though surely the brand will be walking on eggshells.
What should Target’s next move be?
Photos via HuffPost