Asos is in hot water with its shoppers.
The website had originally posted a photo of model Naomi Shimada — but it called her a “plus size model and travel film-maker,” as Fashionista notes.
But if you go to Asos’s Instagram page now, it no longer says that Shimada a “plus size model” — rather, she’s just a “model and travel film-maker.”
That’s because people were furious that the company felt the need to point out her size — let alone call her plus size at all.
“Plus sized?? Really??” One angry person wrote.
“PLUS SIZED ??? YOU SERIOUS GUYS? YOU KNOW WHAT’S PLUS SIZED ? DEFINTELY [sic] NOT YA BRAIN,” another wrote.
“@asos why are you calling her plus sized? So rude!!” Another complained.
The outrage was sizable enough that Asos removed the term “plus size” from the post.
“You’re totally right, our bad,” Asos conceded. “We’ve amended the post #downwithlabeling.”
But that only sparked more outrage, as it sent a message that there was something inherently wrong with the term ‘plus size.’
Below are a few furious comments following the removal of the term ‘plus size:’
“You are the one brand that I know I can always come to to find something fashionable and that fits and flatters me. Everyday of my life I have to shop in a separate section of a store or website because my “plus sized” clothes are kept separate from the straight sizes. In a darkened corner of the store or way down the scroll bar of a website. You didn’t do that. You seemed quite proud of your curve range. By removing plus sized from the description of this model and calling the term “whack” and “uncool” you don’t seem quite so proud to me anymore. You seem ashamed. Instead of hiding away from the term why not embrace it. All bodies are good bodies so don’t be scared that this particular body is plus sized!”
“I’ve just spent ages reading all of these comments. It’s all a bit of a mess but I think it’s because they were trying to be ‘PC’ and the first comments on this post were about the use of the term Plus size and it offending people. So asos reacted very quickly to try and please, but have accidentally offended even more women. A bit of a misunderstanding no?”
“Plus size is a term that helps me find the clothes that fit my body. It isn’t an insult. Get a grip @asos.”
“Really!?!? @asos Why did the original post was edited? Do not listening to over jugdemental and opinionated people. Haters are gonna hate and human beings do their best every single day to take each other down. #stopthenonsense #spreadlove#beyourself #letitgo.”
Asos acknowledges that’s there a debate.
“It’s a really interesting debate – we label petite, curve, tall and maternity on our site to help people find the best fit for them. Some of our community find ‘plus size’ empowering which is awesome, but we know that others find it offensive, which we don’t love. We’d love to invite you to share more of your thoughts on the subject and help us get it right for the community,” the company wrote, asking if it could direct message some of its frustrated consumers.
It’s true; some models — like Georgina Burke — have said that they don’t like how there are spectacles made over the use of plus size women, and Ashley Graham has said she dislikes the term ‘plus size.’ But not everyone in the industry is in a rush to ditch the label.
“So, I love the word and I love the label and I embrace it — I might be on the smaller end for a plus size woman, but I am definitely a plus size model,” curvy model Jennie Runk told Business Insider in an interview in June.
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