For many years, lingerie and swimwear models represented one particular body type – and while there was, of course, nothing wrong with that particular body, it often felt alienating for anyone who didn’t find their mirror in that image.
In recent years though, brands have been on a mission to improve their efforts of representation: from Figleaves declaring #beautyhasnobounds to Joules proudly showing stretch marks in their latest swimwear campaign.
Now high street favourite Marks & Spencer is winning serious applause from customers too, thanks to the inclusion of a stunning model named Emma Breschi in its latest photographs.
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Emma, who is represented by the agency Models 1 and has been modelling for M&S for some time already, recently captured the public’s hearts in a new post on the shop’s social media accounts, where she was flooded with compliments from customers who related to her shape.
‘Gorgeous model!! so nice to see a model with curves,’ one exclaimed, while another wrote: ‘There should be more models used like this – love it… a natural women 🙌🏼.’
‘Beautiful model,’ a third said. ‘So lovely to see a more natural photo than all the plastic Insta images.’
Several others praised M&S for using a ‘real’ woman to model its underwear – but according to Emma herself, this is a term that doesn’t need to have a place in the discourse.
‘Inclusivity and diversity is very important, but the only thing that concerns me is this need to categorise people. Personally the phrase “real woman” doesn’t quite sit right,’ she told you.co.uk.
‘I believe all women are real women, and everyone should be celebrated and not labelled. If we can break free from that, then diversity will have a true place in fashion.’
Luckily, other commenters echoed this crucial message on her behalf: ‘Oh the gorgeous model has a tummy like me! So refreshing to see 😁,’ wrote one. ‘But I prefer to say she’s got a more typical body than a real woman’s body…slim ladies are real women too (And I’m a size 16 so def not one of them 🤣).’
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Guys, with all the chaos happening in the world…. it’s time we gave ourselves the right support for once 😂 (I hope you got that joke? Cause I’m like referring to the support of a bra… get it ? 😂) PLEASE BELIEVE in your self confidence because that is what gives you the right foundation! Together, LETS SHOW SOME LOVE AND SUPPORT 👙@marksandspencer lingerie is doing just that 👊🏽 #mymarks #marksandspencer #ad
Emma adds that she’s been overwhelmed with the reaction that the campaign has received: ‘For me it was another day at work,’ she says.
‘I’m very lucky to have worked with some of the industries most influential people. I’ve worked with Vivienne Westwood who’s one of my heroes, she’s taught me a lot and been an important person in my life and career,’ she said. ‘
‘She’s inspired me to really own my voice as a woman! With the confidence she’s given me I’ve been able to approach other brands and organisations that I’m very passionate about. This year in particular I’ve been more focused on doing work with women of Bloody Good Period and the Lady Garden Foundation.’
Of the M&S campaign she continued: ‘The lingerie line has been on my books for a few years, the images have always sparked some level of conversation especially on social media. But I’ve not really experienced this much attention in the media [the discussion around these particular snaps has made headlines on several websites already].’
‘I was so touched by the positive messages, because it can go either way with social media. It’s very humbling.’