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Apparently “Plus-Size” and “Pregnant” are Synonymous, According to Target

Target plus-size model

What a lovely plus-size model CAN look like — and nary a baby bump in sight

It’s just what every woman carrying around a few extra pounds wants to hear: “When are you due?”

Strike that. Reverse it. Of course it’s what no woman carrying around a few extra pounds wants to hear.

And yet, it’s what Target just said to every woman carrying around a few pounds via a model on their site sporting their $34.99 Merona Women’s Plus-Size Short-Sleeve V-Neck Maxi Dress. How did they say it, exactly? Well, the woman they used on their site to model the dress is pregnant.* Very pregnant. Oh, and pretty darn thin, too. Which means it’s the unborn baby in her belly making her chunky. At least according to Target’s logic.

Target has since (wisely) taken the image off their site, but over at Jezebel, they took a screen shot of the offending (offensive) ad (see it here).

It’s bad enough that what passes for plus-size models these days is what most women strive to look like, which is to say healthy and, well, normal (check out this piece by Babble writer Monica Bielanko on that very topic) — not Kate Moss circa early-1990s-heroin-thin chic.

But what clothing retailer really thinks that plus-size and pregnant are synonymous? Do they not have women working at Target? No women at all? Was this really not run up and down the chain by enough people to know how offensive and horribly wrong it is to show a thin pregnant woman and call her plus-size? Really, Target? No, really?

Vogue magazine? You expect size-4 women to be regarded as chubby. The Goop crowd? Yep, you’re pretty much a whale if you’re lacking a thigh gap and bikini bridge. But Target? Tar-jay? The beloved mega-retailer with offerings such as Phillip Lim for the rest of us and the Disneyland of dollar aisles? Et tu?

It stings quite specifically and just plain badly when the moron in line behind you at the supermarket asks you if you’re pregnant after spying your muffin top resting alongside a pint of salted caramel gelato. But it’s a whole other thing to be confronted with it from a retailer who’s supposed to be reaching out to the 99% who don’t have the money, time, inclination or genes to fit into Size-0 jeans.

Big mistake, Target. Huge.

* It’s a rule of mine not to acknowledge another woman’s pregnancy unless either (A) she acknowledges it first and/or (B) I actually see a tiny baby falling out of her vagina. However, in this case, well, you know, the chick is pregnant.

Photo credit: Target

More from Meredith on Babble:

Follow Meredith on Twitter and check out her regular column on the op-ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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