Fast-fashion retailer Boohoo is in hot water with it's customers. The website isn't just being called out for using straight-size models to show its plus-size products — it's also being accused of charging more for items over a certain size.
On Tuesday, Yahoo Style wrote that a Scottish manicurist took to Twitter to address the issue. “Anyone else majorly offended that this is a ‘plus size’ bikini on a ‘plus size’ model?!?! No wonder girls think they are ‘fat,’” she wrote, posting two side-by-side images of a model supposedly wearing a plus-sized bikini. One scan through the Boohoo Plus & Curve Clothing landing page, and you'll notice the models don't differ too much in size from those in its other sections. This isn't the first time this has happened, either.
Another Twitter user dug deeper, confirming the model's size is far from being representative of the 67% of woman sizes 14 and up. Though the description for a plus-size jumpsuit (worn by the same model as the one in the plus-size bikini) on Boohoo reads "you'll find full on fashion for the fuller figure with the boohoo Plus range. Delivering directional designs for UK sizes 16 to 24, this ultra-flattering collection combines perfectly proportioned fits with statements styles so that you can stay on top of this season's trends," in the "details & care" section, the site states the item was "measured on UK Size 6," which roughly equates to a US size 2. Seriously.
Furthering the drama (because a little is never enough), a U.K.-based body-positive campaign called “Free to Be OK With Me” accused Boohoo or charging customers a "fat tax," noting that one of its maxi dresses costs $5 more for the plus-sized version. Though the pieces are listed under different names, the resemblance — from the cap-sleeves to the lace bodice to the empire waist — is uncanny. The only difference? The straight-size version includes fabric details (it's 100% polyester), while the plus-size version does not.
“The use of non-plus models to represent plus-size lines encourages body dysmorphia, especially when [Boohoo’s] target market is largely young women vulnerable and impressionable to marketing,” Jen Eastwood, an organizer for “Free To Be OK With Me,” told Yahoo Style. She also added that this price differential is “taking advantage of an increasing plus-size population."
We've reached out to Boohoo for comment, and will update this piece if/when we hear back.