Will Beauty Brands Ever Embrace Plus-Size Women?

Melissa McCarthyMelissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy is having no trouble finding work these days. The scene-stealer from Bridesmaids, who recently won an Emmy for her role on Mike & Molly and hosted the funniest episode of SNL that we've seen in years, just added another title to her résumé: spokesperson for Ivory soap. The hiring comes as part of a "holistic reinvention" of the brand; a vague term that we're not entirely sure we understand (we think it means they are finally using Facebook). But we do understand that hiring a plus-size woman as the face of a body-product brand represents a noteworthy departure in beauty advertising; it's more of a "love the skin you're in" type of approach to beauty and personal care than the typical "love the way this skinny model/actress looks in her skin and try to emulate it" approach.

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However, Ivory isn't the first soap company to tackle the issue. Remember The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty with its images of "real women" (i.e. not super-skinny airbrushed models) and those great commercials about self-esteem and positive body image? For soap companies, the "real woman" approach seems to be an easy fit. But so far, makeup brands-which are just a stone's throw from body-care brands-are more reluctant to embrace the plus-size sales pitch when it comes to pushing their products. Aside from Cover Girl's campaign with Queen Latifah, we can't think of any beauty brands that have dared to feature plus-size women as their signature beauties.

Do you think makeup companies will eventually follow the path of Ivory and Dove, and embrace plus-size women in their advertising? Would you like to see more full-figured women representing your favorite beauty brands?

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