Nearly a year ago today, we at Refinery29 came to a bit of a realization. It started with three words from our global editor-in-chief and cofounder Christene Barberich: "We fucked up." Like many ambitious publishers striving to serve extraordinary women, we realized that we had fallen short in our efforts to represent the 67% of women in the United States who are sizes 14 and up; on average, plus-size women only account for 1 to 2% of the bodies represented in mainstream media. We are a company who stands for all women — and so we committed to making a change.
In its launch year, Refinery29's 67% Project acknowledged and celebrated the diverse images of these extraordinary women, not JUST across the country — but across social media, advertising, entertainment, and society, while shifting how the world, in turn, sees this often overlooked majority. In partnership with Getty Images, we shot over 800 photos featuring plus-size models of all body types, races, and backgrounds, and made the collection available to publishers everywhere to use. We were able to nearly double the percentage of images featuring women of the 67% on our platforms — but after hearing from you, we realized that it wasn't enough.
For Year Two, our mission is making an active pivot from Project to Promise, evolving from a widely successful content program to a dedicated uprising. Today, we are ALL the 67%, and we are actively, passionately, and committedly changing the biased perception imposed on the millions of women in the United States who identify as plus size.
Last year, Refinery29 introduced the world to the 67% — and millions of people heard us. This time, we're giving these women their own megaphone, doubling down on our commitment as allies, and partnering with them to catapult these powerful conversations into a true historic movement. Starting now, on Refinery29 you will not only see the 67%, but hear even more of their stories across fashion, health, entertainment, relationships, and travel.
You’ll get an exclusive first look at Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the Media, Diversity & Social Change (MDSC) Initiative at USC Annenberg’s new study on plus representation in the year’s most recent films and television shows. You’ll see updated and more comprehensive sizing information on all our fashion and market stories, as well as more 67%-friendly options. You’ll hear from all-star pop culture writer Sesali Bowen on what it’s like to be plus-size inside the R29 walls. You’ll find out why there are no plus-size female CEOs in the Fortune 500 — and what we can all do to change that, starting now.
This is just a hint of what's to come. 67% is now a platform AND a promise that we're thrilled to create with YOU, 365 days a year. Tell us how we're doing. Keep us accountable. Give us feedback on what you'd like to see more — or less — of. You belong here. #WeAreThe67.
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