For weeks this ‘plus size’ discussion is going on, now it’s my turn!
When I the first time worked with ‘plus size’ models for a Dutch catalogue as a stylist… I was so surprised. The models were not fat, or extreme curvy. They were just like me. Tall, good proportions, great in shape and no cellulite at all. These girls were too big for the straight, but too small for the plus size. That’s why I created a new name for these models in size 42, 44, 46 EU: inbetweenies. ‘in between sizes’. The models recognized themselves in this term, so did I… and I still do…
For weeks this ‘plus size model’ discussion is going on and on and on… now it’s time to give my opinion! But as a faithful follower from my website, you already know my opinion! I am saying it for years! Drop the plus! Don’t call a woman plus size, when we see an inbetweenie (or average size woman)!
“When it comes to the word ‘plus-size’, I’ve been called a plus-size model for the past sixteen years,” Ashley Graham told Shape. ”I hear it, sometimes I say it – it’s a slip of the tongue. But at the end of the day, it’s a label. You can say, ‘Yes it’s a negative thing’ or ‘maybe it’s not a negative thing’…but why would we want to be labelled something? Why do we want to be put in a different category than all the other types of models? No one says ‘skinny model’, so am I wrong for not wanting a label? I don’t think so.”
Melissa McCarthy agrees with the Ashley Graham that the fashion world needs to stop using the “plus-size” label.
“I hate the word ‘real woman’ and I hate the word ‘plus-size,'” Graham told E! News. “I’ve got plenty of friends, of all sizes, and different shapes and everything, and I don’t want any of them to feel like they aren’t ‘real women’.”
McCarthy says she tries not using the label for her fashion line. “Every time someone says, ‘You make a plus-size line,’ I just correct them: ‘I make clothes for women.'” “I’m not making a plus-size line. If a plus-size store or if a store of certain sizes buys those that’s what going in there. But on my website and HSN, I’m just making women’s clothing.”
Ashley Graham: “We need to get more curvy girls on the cover of magazines and in editorials without the headline ‘Ahead of the Curve’. How many times have we heard that?! I think once we stop having to talk about ‘how do you feel about the word plus-size?’ we’ve made it. And the biggest thing to me is not just one or two curvy girls making it, but so many that you can’t keep up with it.”
The same experience I had this week. I made an editorial for a Dutch magazine… with a size 44 EU model. It has to be an editorial with clothes available in larger sizes, so I only used brands which went up to a size 52/54 and even 56 EU. The comment was immediately: “isn’t the model too skinny?” pfff… we show fashion on an average size model and inspire women in this size and up! In the picture you always looks thinner as in real. I have the same ‘problem’ myself. When people see me on a picture, they don’t think I am a size 46/48 EU, because of my length. I am promoting the #averagesize, the #inbetweenies and #droptheplus on instagram. And I am not writing #plussize there. Because I don’t feel ‘plus size’ or fat. There are even more words: #curvy #voluptuous, #Rubenesque, #bootylicious, etc. If one of these fits you, use it! These are not for me. Your body, your rules!
Lane Bryant has started adopting the clever ‘her size’ as its retail-line buzz phrase. The idea behind it seems simple enough: Whatever size you are is the size you “should be.” A size 2? ‘her size’. Size 12? ‘her size’. Size 16? ‘her size’. You get the idea. I love the #celebratemysize ! For everybody it’s different how to call your self.
An interesting interview with Becca on Refinery29: “But what makes a model today isn’t her height, or weight, or race — it’s that wow factor.”
And as Thorpe concludes, the change isn’t coming, it’s here. “When I have clients calling me who want to do full on castings with every single one of our girls, that’s how you know things are changing. It’s out there. It’s happening now.”
Yes… it’s happening now…! I totally agree… it’s already changing… so happy… after years of waking up this industry, I am finally seeing some progress. Things I was saying already for years, others are seeing it too. Average size is getting more and more in the picture… and the next step will be average size in campaigns for the straight size labels… and not in the plus size fashion anymore… and it’s already happening with influencers in different sizes for straight size brands… bravo!!