Say the word “supermodel” and one immediately thinks of women like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Iman, etc. But with the broadening body- acceptance movement and the increase of full-figure fashion, the general public is being exposed to supermodels of a different size.
They may have been dubbed “plus-size” models (seriously, we should just call them models!) but these beautiful women prove that they can hold their own among the under-size-4 set. Whether they’re starring in banned commercials or strutting down haute couture runways, these are some of the hottest size 14+ supermodels in the biz. Read more…
Naked models usually gets mouths flapping. But the real reason people are gabbing about a photo spread in Plus Model Magazine is because each picture of plus-size model Katya Zharkova posing nude is accompanied by a fact about body size and eating disorders. In the image from the spread shown above left, Katya even holds a “straight size model,” cupping her hand over her butt like a newborn baby. Of course, commenters on the Plus Model blog — and every other blog that has posted about this spread — are shrieking about obesity. I’ve never quite understood why the fact that human beings are made in different sizes — and beauty comes in all of those sizes — is so controversial. While I don’t doubt that obesity exists (in fact, there was a great piece in the New York Times this weekend about obesity in children), such a knee-jerk response obscures the larger point that many of us are bored with the assumed beauty ideal of stick-thin 14-year-olds. Give me an adult model with voluptuous, womanly curves any day.
You can check out all the images from the Plus Model Magazine spread after the jump. [Fashionista] Keep reading »
No matter that in the real world women come in a bevy of shapes and sizes, in the model world, you’re either “regular” or “plus-size.” And for the past several years, model Crystal Renn has been at the top of the plus-size game. But Renn has been catching flack lately for a rather surprising reason: some say she’s not plus-size enough. In yesterday’s Daily Mail, the model was criticized for appearing at a Metropolitan Opera opening in a slinky gold number, “now virtually unrecognisable from her days of ‘big’ modeling.” Nevermind that Renn is still not considered thin enough to model in the ultra-warped world of “regular” modeling, it seems Renn and her new, slimmer figure just can’t seem to win. Where critics of plus-size models say they provide unhealthy role models, others claim Renn’s sold out from her original plus-size form.
Earlier this year, Renn addressed her weight loss in an interview with Ford models. “A lot of people wanted to point their finger at somebody. They wanted to find a conspiracy when there actually was none,” she said. “I feel pressure probably more than any place from the public and the media. I think by placing a title on my head—which is plus-size—and then the picture that these people have created in their mind about what plus-size actually is, I basically fail you just with that, because I couldn’t possibly live up to that.”
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“When they changed from the supermodel to the skinny girl, I remember Eva Herzigova was not working, and Cindy Crawford, all these girls they were working less and less. And I remember at an Hermès show a few seasons ago, they put on the runway with these young teenager girls Naomi [Campbell] and Stephanie Seymour, and they look almost big if you compare them [with the other models]. But they were looking so beautiful because they look like women. We are used to seeing teenagers — 14, 15, 17, 18 years old — they are not able to use their bodies and their bodies are still not shaped. I don’t know why it became a prototype of a beauty, like Twiggy in the sixties or Veruschka. But you realize the women with the bodies are much more interesting than teenagers.”
–Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani, on why she was thrilled to put three models with voluptuous bodies on the cover of this month’s Vogue. [NYMag.com] Keep reading »
Meet the new faces of “plus-sized” modeling. This week Ford Modeling Agency unveiled Ford+ Models, its new division of plus-sized models meant to turn the industry on its head. According to the agency, Ford+ models range in size from 8 to 18, and are an attempt to widen the playing field of what it means to be beautiful. After all, when models like Lara Stone (who is a size 4) are considered “too fat” to be real models, it’s clear that the modeling industry’s notions of beauty have grown very, very narrow. Said Gary Dakin, who’s running Ford’s plus division: “There are better clients, jobs, photographers, rates, etc.,” for plus-sized models. “The girls have evolved too … they are challenged now more than ever to be better and they challenge the industry right back.”
Except for one small thing: do any of these women look plus-sized to you? Keep reading »
I am not plus sized, but my mother is and can cry you a river over the the horrors of the industry, the lack of attractive clothing, and the messed-up sizing. When we were browsing the Neiman Marcus website for her yesterday, I noticed something a bit off—where were all the plus-sized models? For starters, it took me a second to realize that Neiman Marcus doesn’t employ the term “plus size” but rather you can find larger items in the “special sizes” section under “women’s.” Garments like this embroidered v-neck dress by Johnny Was are shown on a girl who might not be the skinniest model we’ve ever seen, but is, for all intents and purposes, what we’d call a “normal model.” There’s no way that woman is a 1X, 2X, or 3X, which are the only sizes the dress is available in. There are a few models in the women’s section who look like they might barely be a 6, but again, that’s not even close to the plus-size range (which generally starts at about a 16). I asked my mother if she saw this a lot—clothing supposedly for larger people shown on thin models? “Yes, I’ve seen it at several retailers,” she admitted. Still, we checked out the merch on the Neiman Marcus site for a while. Keep reading »
Is the plus-size model debate one-sided? When it comes to talking about how the fashion industry promotes unhealthy female images, the male gaze might be silent, but nevertheless it’s there: Our models’ bodies look increasingly like those of little boys; the petite shape serves to give off a certain amount of commercial sex appeal. So we begin a dialogue about how curves can be sexy, or how plus-size women need more positive exposure in fashion. But did we ever stop to consider that the body image issue isn’t just applicable to females? In the latest issue of Fantastic Man, an indie men’s fashion magazine, one editorial focuses on not-so-slender men, complete with bellies, chunky arms, and rounded bottoms. The shoot’s subhead: “A series of stylistic suggestions for bold summer fashions to be worn by gentlemen of quite marvelous shape.” Keep reading »
Elle editor-in-chief Robbie Myers went on “Today” this morning to talk about body types and how curvier models are getting more attention in the fashion industry these days, with more womanly figures walking the runways at Louis Vuitton, Prada, and more. She said, however, that women reading magazines or watching movies don’t want to see bodies like their own in the media; while we don’t want to see anorexic models, we “respond more to women who are a little bit above average. … Seeing someone who looks like [the average woman] doesn’t actually send her out and make her want to go shopping.” We’re gonna guess that Elle won’t be jumping on the plus-size model bandwagon anytime soon. [MSNBC] Keep reading »
When it comes to the fashion industry size debate, even we admit that as much as opposing sides keep launching rockets, it often feels like a peace treaty will never come to be. After seeing such incremental changes towards a healthier body standard, we sometimes feel like raising our shoulders and saying, “So what are you going to do?” You get a wave of “normal” or “plus-sized” fashion shoots that get good press, but the attention is often treated as a trend and an unsettling novelty that only recedes back into the shadows once the hype dies down. It’s undeniably frustrating and disheartening.
One of our favorite fashion photography bloggers, Frenchie Garance Doré is experiencing some heat for some controversial comments she recently made about size. Keep reading »
French women may be known for their ability to guzzle wine and feast on cheese and not gain an ounce, but the reality is they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. (French chicks, they’re just like us!) The editors of French Elle have decided to jump on the normal- and plus-sized models bandwagon and tomorrow will launch “Special Rondes,” starring model Tara Lynn. Another look, after the jump! [Plus Size And/Or Tall] Keep reading »