Target: Christopher Lindland, Founder and CEO of BetaBrand Clothing
Goal: Commend BetaBrand for its feminist take on advertising
BetaBrand, a clothing company based in San Francisco, made headlines in the spring of 2014 when it decided to forgo hiring professional models and instead ask women with PhDs to model the spring collection. The company has maintained this creative, feminist approach for its fall collection, in which all the clothes are modeled by women with careers in comedy. This campaign is an effective and interesting way to promote well-rounded media portrayals of women, even in something as niche as fashion advertising. Sign the petition and applaud BetaBrand for its inclusive and innovative approach.
Although the cynical may be tempted to dismiss BetaBrand’s offbeat ad campaigns as gimmicky, they underline a very important reality about how women are often portrayed in the media–as two-dimensional clotheshorses who lack any defining attributes aside from being silent, pretty, and (usually) thin. BetaBrand’s advertising strategy highlights women as individuals, celebrating their achievements and positive attributes rather than their ability to wear a pair of jeans. It focuses on a group of women who may not perfectly conform to the rigid body and appearance standards so often promoted by the fashion industry (and advertising in general) but who are unique, successful, and talented.
Aside from the campaign’s impact on the fashion industry, it exposes shoppers to many smart, powerful women whose work is often overlooked because it occurs “behind the scenes.” The campaign celebrates the achievements of female writers, show creators, and producers, a significant accomplishment given that women are often underrepresented and dismissed in media and entertainment. The campaign brings attention to the significant accomplishments of its comedian models in a way that is captivating but not pushy. Sign the petition and applaud BetaBrand for its empowering approach to advertising.
Dear Mr. Lindland,
I am writing to congratulate BetaBrand on its continued creative and empowering advertising campaigns. The Fall Comedy Collection (and its predecessor, the PhD-modeled Women’s Spring Collection) both highlight the achievements of smart, successful women–a rarity in the fashion world, which is usually myopically focused only on outer appearances.
While it may seem overdramatic to lavish so much praise on advertising campaigns, BetaBrand’s unique approach has taken the stereotypes often attached to women in fashion–they’re shallow, they’re only pretty faces, they’re objects–and turned them on their head. An interest in fashion does not disqualify a woman from having other passions and skills, just as being known for being funny or intelligent does not mean a woman cannot also care about how she dresses. This is, to many people, incredibly basic and self-evident knowledge, but in the fashion industry this reality is largely overlooked. BetaBrand’s advertising uses creative, positive methods to challenge these misconceptions.
Thank you for recognizing that the women who model for BetaBrand–just like the women who buy and wear BetaBrand’s clothing–are human beings, not clotheshorses.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: RJFerret via Wikimedia Commons