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 »
Dove’s Real Beauty ad campaigns are heralded as groundbreaking forays into being a bit more realistic about how women look. Glamour‘s new habit of featuring regular-sized broads after the publicity deluge the first time they did it, too, is widely praised. But here’s the thing: According to a new study by the University of Arizona, ads featuring bigger models don’t actually make most women feel very good about themselves. Apparently, pretty much everything makes women feel like crap about how they look. Keep reading »