Little did we know at the time that the image would land itself on the pages of the highly anticipated Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
The magazine, released Wednesday, features a full body shot of Bidot, founder of the “There Is No Wrong Way To Be A Woman” movement, with the words “My confidence inspired by #ThisBody” written across the ad.
Clad in a two-piece bathing suit and a cover up, you might not even notice that the image hasn’t been retouched, or that Bidot’s stretch marks are fully visible in the shot.
Both in the ad and the image that came beforehand, the brand makes no mention of the stretch marks. In an e-mail to The Huffington Post, CMO and EVP of marketing Brian Beitler explained that the idea behind the image is pretty simple.
“We at Lane Bryant simply believe that all women should be seen and celebrated as they are. Society and the media continuously project an unrealistic and frankly out-dated beauty and body standard,” he said.
The model, who has also starred in campaign images for Old Navy and Nordstrom, is joined by the likes of Danielle Brooks, Ashley Graham and Gabourey Sidibe in working with the brand. Beitler told The Huffington Post that these women “are breaking boundaries with their confidence and talent” and “will continue to promote body-inclusion in fashion and media.”
With the continued inclusion of ads from retailers like Lane Bryant and a more diverse group of models in the actual spreads, Sports Illustrated continues to make more and more body positive strides each year.