- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2003

Close to 10,000 ladies of a certain dimension are on the warpath: They want equal time from CBS.
"We, the undersigned, demand that CBS provide equal time to plus-size women in America and air the Lane Bryant lingerie fashion show," reads a petition signed by 9,735 persons as of yesterday morning.
The network would have "a substantially positive impact on the body image of millions of women across the country," the petition concludes.
And what an image. Now in its fifth year, plus-size clothier Lane Bryant's "Intimate Apparel Runway Show" features models up to size 20 on parade in exotic kimonos, naughty nighties and foundation undergarments of, well, serious intent.
With a cabaret theme, "mistress of ceremonies" actress Roseanne and entertainment by reality TV's Kelly Osbourne, this year's show was Tuesday night in a swank New York ballroom. It was broadcast via the Lane Bryant Internet site last night.
Some can't understand why CBS won't broadcast the show, or a tape of it anyway, to recognize ladies of ample proportions. Two months ago, CBS aired "Christmas Dreams and Fantasies," Victoria's Secret's titillating lingerie show to snappy prime-time ratings and much buzz.
CBS drew criticism from the Parents Television Council, Concerned Women for America and the National Organization for Women, among other groups, for the broadcast, which they billed as "the sexiest night on TV."
Should Rubenesque women get the same exposure?
"Knowing that Lane Bryant has an annual lingerie fashion show and that their show would more accurately reflect the average American woman, it felt like the right time to urge the broadcast of this show," said Anne Garber, founder of New York-based Plus Models.
Starting in December, she began circulating the petition online, through fashion and gossip columns, and at broadcast networks and cable channels with "overwhelming" response.
Some are underwhelmed. Frances White, a board member of the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance a San Francisco-based advocacy group that fights discrimination against overweight people is downright annoyed.
"The group itself is not taking an official stand," she said yesterday. "Personally, I think lingerie shows are demeaning to women regardless of their size. We can find better things to do with our TV time."
Some are delighted by the idea.
"Big girls are just as beautiful as bony chicks," offered one signer.
"The media has the control to change the standards of beauty," reasoned another.
"You're biased if you don't air the show," a third woman wrote, directing her message to CBS.
"This all sounds like a publicity stunt to me. But a good one," commented CBS spokesman Chris Ender yesterday.
Lane Bryant, the nation's largest plus-size retailer, likes the attention.
"We're flattered by it. The idea of broadcasting the show is lovely. But it takes more than a petition to get on the air," said spokeswoman Catherine Lippincott. "It takes millions of dollars and years of negotiations. But who knows? Never say never."
The petition, meanwhile, remains posted online (www.plusmodels.com) while Ms. Garber continues her quest for ample women, lacy unmentionables and a friendly network.
"I feel confident that the effort has enough momentum to carry us through to next year," she said.

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