Beyoncé’s latest Ivy Park range has been criticised for its lack of body diversity. The Flex Park swimwear capsule, which is to be launched in July, is said to celebrate “the empowered spirit of confident self-expression and individuality – positively and boldly,” according to the press release. But a promotional photo of the range, which features celebrities such as the beauty influencer Kristen Noel Crawley, the actor Quincy Brown and the plus-size model Tabria Majors modelling the neon-orange range of bikinis, swim shorts and bathing suits, prompted commenters to ask why there is no size inclusivity for both sexes.
“I love the range for women, but what about the men?” wrote one person under the post, which features on the Women’s Wear Daily Instagram. “Where are the plus-size male models at? It’s about time too.”
Another wrote: “Where is the variation in the male body shapes? Always masculine and muscled ones … Boring.” While a user chimed in asking: “What about guys with normal bodies?”
Last year there was a 24% increase in the number of plus-size clothing ranges for men, including lines from boohooMan and Jack & Jones. But despite the fact the average consumer in the UK and US is dubbed “plus size”, shoppers have fewer options than those who are “straight-sized”, according to the market research company Edited.
In October last year, Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie line featured Steven G, a plus-size male model and photos of him went viral on the internet. The model criticised the media portrayal of male body shapes, telling the Guardian: “The message society sends to the plus-size community is ultimately to diminish your confidence until you are a decent size and then you can showcase yourself, and that’s not OK.” The plus-size market is expected to be worth £500bn by 2027.
Ivy Park’s swimwear range is Beyoncé’s fourth collection with Adidas. The first iteration of Ivy Park was launched with Topshop in 2016. But after sexual assault allegations against Sir Philip Green came to light, which he denied, Beyoncé brought back her shares and assumed full ownership of the line in November 2018. The singer dropped a winter-themed collection in February that was nicknamed “Icy Park”.