Levi's Ad Bums People Out, Jeans Make My Bum Happy

A new jean fitting system promises to fit women of every size but we're too busy being angry about models in the ad campaign to rejoice

People are really getting their jeans in a bunch over the new Levi’s ad campaign -- apparently an encore of the outrage they felt when the Curve ID jeans launched in 2010.

The jean giant just launched their newest Curve ID styles and is making a big push for the denim “system,” which takes a woman’s every curve (finally) into account, in both its stores and through advertising. It’s not rocket science. A salesperson measures the fullness of your bum and the relation between your waist and hip, and then you get a Curve ID -- there’s slight (basically ruler shaped and no bum), demi (have a waist and an average bum), bold (defined waist and bum) and supreme (small waist and a bigger bum). Then you go over to the wall of your designated curve, pick a waist size, leg shape, rinse and rise. And, you're done. It’s kind of genius. So why are people so…um, bummed?

Many think the term “curve” applies to plus-size women and that Curve ID is a plus-size line and they’reoutraged that the Levi’s ad campaign uses only skinny models. The argument has gotten so ridiculous that it almost seems like people are angry that any woman below size 14 dare claim to have any kind of curve.

In a way, it makes sense. For so long, we have been so PC about weight and size that “fat” has essentially become a bad word. We don’t call people fat, even when they are. We don’t even call that stuff that spills over our ill-fitting jeans fat, even when it is. We give it cute nicknames like muffin top just so we don’t have to say the “F” word. So, we decided to call women with fat, “curvy.” It was a happy alternative to “big-boned” (which some of us just weren’t) or some of the other ridiculously polite but really dumb terms people use to describe plus-sized ladies. And because curvy ladies are sexy, “curvy” became sexy. And now Levi’s is telling us that a jean called “Curve” could be for skinny girls too. What?!

Consider this: All women have curves. We all have hips and a butt, and thus, we all naturally have curvature. Women are women. And, we need to stop pegging skinny women against the “curvy” ones. It’s not about that.

The truth is, Levi’s Curve ID line is a brilliant remedy for what is universally known as the most horrendous shopping experience for any, all, every woman…finding jeans that actually fit. We’ve all been there -- no matter your size or shape. You go into a fitting room with 10 pairs of jeans and one pair won’t go up past the knees, another pair gives you diaper butt and another is at least 2 inches short of being buttoned. You’re sweating, you’re on your tip-toes, you’re sucking it in until you’re blue…

But, when I went into a Levi’s store this past weekend, I got measured, went into the fitting room with 5 pairs of jeans and, to my surprise, every pair fit and there were no blood, sweat or tears. I am a Slight Curve (and a 30 waist). I went with two friends -- a Demi Curve (size 28 waist) and a Bold Curve (size 32 waist). I had to stop the Demi Curve from walking out with 2 pairs of the same jean. The Bold Curve was ecstatic to find that, with the right fit, she was actually a 14 and not the 16’s and 18’s she’d been buying. Curve ID’s actually go up to size 24. So, it’s true: Why isn’t a Bold Curve size 24 in the ads? I suspect that has more to do with our/the fashion industry’s warped idea of beauty than it does Levi’s understanding of our curves. Everybody needs to stand down about the dumb ad and be excited that finally, a company has decided to design clothes for real women (of all curvatures) and not Barbie dolls.

WATCH: The Best Jeans for Pear-Shaped Figures


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