This week, Google released Plus size information, which is part of an initiative to create marketing inclusion. The information is part of Google All-in toolbox. Launched in 2017, All In was created to help Google improve representation and ownership. With Plus Size Insights, Google hopes to help its internal marketing efforts as well as creatives in the broader advertising and media industries positively and authentically portray people in larger bodies.
Google has partnered with National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) to develop Plus Size Insights. Tigress Osborn, president of NAAFA, wrote that being approached by Google was met, at first, with both intrigue and reservation. “Would Google be willing to learn more about anti-fat fat justice issues, or was it just looking for shortcuts to show a few people barely taller and then congratulate itself on inclusiveness?” asks Osborn in an article for AdAge. Over time, she writes, the organization developed trust that Google would treat the fat community with care.
Melina “Melu” López, Product and Inclusion Marketing Manager at Google, says, “In today’s world where people want to see the full spectrum of diversity, the portrayal of tall people in the media continues to decline. Our goal with All In, and body size information in particular, is to help Google and other marketers understand the nuances that exist among people who identify as body size. more so that we can create marketing that authentically and positively represents them.
Among the ideas are the following recommendations:
- Validate bodies as they are, not as “work in progress” – it’s important to show tall people living all aspects of life, not just seeking social acceptance by demonstrating they’re trying to lose weight or apologizing for being fat.
- Avoid glorifying diet culture – remove any posts that encourage or celebrate dietary restriction or dietary/lifestyle habits for the sole purpose of weight loss.
- Do not center health on weight and do not focus on health – move away from the association of obesity with disease, laziness, shame or guilt, and note that the value of a person does not depend on his state of health.
- Actually show tall people – when depicting taller people, show a wide range of bodies, including all sizes along the fat spectrum and all body shapes. Be sure to reflect fat acceptance not only in advertisements, but also on landing pages and throughout a company’s website.
- Go beyond sidekick and friend – show tall people relating to people of all sizes, show that they are loved and avoid the “fat friend” stereotype.
Read the full Plus Size Insights report here.