Googling and Searching for Plus Size Fashion Images results in hidden photos

So, here’s the deal… We were writing a previous article about Michael Stone and his economist’s look at the plus size industry. It was a generic article without mention of specific models, entertainers, etc. It did mention some brands.

So, we decided to look up some stock photos and used the keyword phrases “plus size fashion” and “plus size fashion industry” for either purchase or royalty free. We’ve done this before… this isn’t something new for us.

But, here’s what was new:

Large black boxes over the images we were searching for on some photo sites. There was white writing on the boxes that said “Potential Adult Content. Click to Display.”

So, we clicked them. What were they? Plus size women in clothing. Fully clothed… I mean… I guess they were adults.

Our Bold Boss of the Month Lilith Fury discusses this quite a bit online… how the is constantly flagged for being an “adult content” creator since her skin is showing.

Why is this?

The theory has been going on for years that because plus size women have more skin… that there’s more skin showing in images. And, this could be the case. So, algorithms that exist on Instagram, etc. could flag plus size women more often.

But, does nobody check these things? Is it really that difficult to see if an “adult image” is actually an “adult image.” We’re really hoping this situation rectifies itself. What answers do you have for this mix up?