Upon first impression, the initiative looked pretty promising. At the start of January, Urban Outfitters unveiled its 'Class of 2017', a diversity-promoting campaign aimed at celebrating body positivism.
"The new year is here, and we've brought together the newest faces inspiring our style and challenging the status quo," the brand's site proudly announced.
Among the 16 figures selected to head the campaign were rapper Tommy Genesis, transgender model Hari Nef and plus size model Barbie Ferreira, who are all seen dressed up in UO t-shirts and jeans. And that's exactly where the problem lies.
As the Revelist recently pointed out, the t-shirt worn by Barbie Ferreira in the campaign is not actually for sale on the label's site – at least not in the right size. As the Huffington Post notes even the shop's largest size would be too small for the model.
According to Ferreira's official measurements, she has a 33.5-inch waist while Urban Outfitter's size L t-shirts only accommodate up to 33 inches.
Basically, Urban Outfitters used Barbie to promote clothes that she herself wouldn't be able to buy. What's more, any curvy women who happened to be inspired by the campaign would be left pretty disappointed stepping in store to find they haven't been catered for.
A fact made even more troubling by an interview published on the site which sings the praises of the brand for its work in representing different body types. Which is all very well but the brand could at least make clothes to fit the women it claims to represent.
Urban Outfitters has responded to the controversy with a statement, saying:
"We do offer XL products in select styles and we are in the process of increasing our offering. We recognize that extended sizing is a right step for us and we’re in the process of making the shift."
Here's hoping that this latest promise isn't just another empty gesture from the clothing corp.