Plus-sized model Sarah Jane Kelly claims Shein heavily edited her body to look thin

Plus-sized model Sarah Jane Kelly claims Shein heavily edited her body to look thin

Posted For: Willie Wonka

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A plus-size model has called out fashion retailer Shein, claiming the fashion brand photoshopped her body to make her look “thin”.

Sydney, Australia-based model Sarah Jane Kelly has been in the fashion industry for over five years and has posed for some of the world’s most popular clothing brands.

The 28-year-old says she is no stranger to digital editing on her photographs, but after seeing the results of a photoshoot she did for Shein – a global fashion retailer operating out of China – Sarah felt compelled to speak up.

Sarah claims her photographs were manipulated to the “extreme”, stating the company flattened her stomach, cinched her waist and slimmed her arms.

Sarah Jane Kelly
Sarah Jane Kelly said the photos don’t even look like her.
@learningtolovesarah/Instagram

“That person in the photographs doesn’t even look like me anymore,” she told news.com.au.

“When I first saw it, I burst out laughing. I couldn’t believe how far they went.

“I’m used to companies photoshopping me. That is unfortunately just a part of the gig.

“But this was too funny. I don’t even look like that.

“They’ve made my waist really small, but edited my butt and boobs to look bigger.

“The thing is, a lot of people expect plus-size bodies not to be manipulated. This is because the purpose is to show a different body shape.

“What they don’t realize is that bigger bodies are often heavily edited too.”

While Sarah could find the humor in the situation, she could see the deeper implications of what Shein had done to her photographs.

Sarah Jane Kelly
Sarah Jane Kelly says that manipulating plus sized models can make larger women feel worse.
@learningtolovesarah/Tiktok

She went on to explain how plus-size models are expected to look a particular way.

“I wanted to remind people that the internet is not a real representation of how someone looks in real life,” she explained.

“There is a trend for plus-size models to not have any fat on their face, they have a flat stomach, they have a small waist and toned arms.

“You can’t see any rolls or stretch marks. They often don’t really look bigger at all.

“This makes a lot of plus-size people feel worse. It is sending the message that it is okay to be fat, but only if it is in all the right places.

“A lot of brands will use a woman who is a size 12 as a plus-size model, and put her next to someone who is a size 6, to make it appear that they are being inclusive and diverse.”

Sarah was hired to do the photo shoot for Shein earlier in the year, and said the experience itself was a positive one.

But it was only after she saw the pictures on the brand’s website that she realized how far they went to photoshop her body.

“I was really excited about the shoot,” she said.

“A lot of Shein’s market is plus-size people as their sizes and clothes cater to them.

“So I knew a lot of people with similar bodies as mine would be seeing me, and thinking I really look like that. So I felt it was important to raise awareness.

“Things like this create unattainable beauty standards. I still don’t understand why some fashion brands need to make bodies smaller to sell clothes.”

Sarah went on to say that she feels Australia is behind a lot of the world when it comes to inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry.

Her hope is that things will continue to change in the future.

“We are about 5-8 years behind the rest of the world diversity-wise,” she said.

“Places like London have a lot of models with a range of diversities and disabilities. We’re not quite there yet.

“With the Y2K styles popular right now, being thin is also coming back into fashion. That terrifies me.

“There are so many worse things you could be other than fat. But the message being pushed is that being overweight is not okay.

“My experience as a plus-size model has mostly been positive. I love what I do.

“But there have been moments where I feel I’m just there to tick a box. The token fat woman.

“On sets, there are some things that have not been thought of or don’t make sense for models with a larger body type.

“For example, the robes they give the smaller models to sit around in while we have our hair and makeup don’t won’t fit bigger bodies.

“We have a lot of work to do, but I think any representation is a step in the right direction.”

News.com.au have contacted Shein for comment.

https://nypost.com/2022/10/29/plus-sized-model-sarah-jane-kelly-claims-shein-heavily-edited-her-body-to-look-thin/

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