British retailer Marks & Spencer has been praised by fans for adding a more diverse range of skin tones to its underwear range.
The underwear line features a variety of skin tone colours that the retailer said was in part inspired by “the global conversation on racial inequality following the horrific death of George Floyd”.
The new colours, catered towards consumers with darker skin, are named after gemstones like Amber and Topaz, while consumers gave “clear customer feedback” for the retailer to steer away from names like Tobacco.
In a statement, the retailer said: “With changes already in motion to really redefine inclusive colours within lingerie, last year the team was driven to go harder and faster, fuelled by the global conversation on racial inequality, following the horrific death of George Floyd, as well as clear customer feedback on industry standard colour names such as ‘tobacco’.”
In an image posted on their Instagram, the M&S underwear is modelled by three women of different ages, skin tones and body types.
The post was captioned: “We’re all about choice and all about confidence, because when it comes to making underwear that encourages women to love the skin they’re in, we’ve been doing it for years.”
Notably, skin blemishes, stretch marks and other completely natural features on the women’s bodies have not been edited out and it’s been described as a “powerful but beautiful picture”.
One Instagram user commented: “Lovely to see a dark skinned model with a tummy like mine. Lined and stretched from having two babies, dark skin looks very different post birth, the scars don’t fade that much.”
Another person said: “This image almost made me cry with happiness. How lovely to see real women and see they are lovely.
“Also that we can buy nice underwear. I hide in maternity pants as I hate how I look. This has truly inspired me.”
Other Instagram users were glad that M&S is setting an example of how inspiring using a diverse range of models can be for women.
One person said: “Yes!!! This is what I want my daughter to see!”
Meanwhile, another said it had inspired them to shop at the high street retailer, writing: “I love seeing this picture! it will inspire me to shop with M&S fashion if I see women like these promoting.”
Another user commented: “Yes @marksandspencer! This is such a great campaign. The more we celebrate different bodies the better.’
The post has been liked almost 12,000 times and received 255 comments, overwhelmingly from people wanting to share their admiration for the natural-looking models.