Plus Size or Real Size?

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Marc Jacobs have unofficially announced that they are planning to launch a range of “plus size” clothing. This would make them the first fashion house to offer such a collection. With plus-size they are actually referring to size 14 (Eu 42)  and above, not exactly huge is it? I think the UK average size is about a 14 anyway so perhaps they should think about calling it “normal” or “non-skinny” size clothing. I mean, isn’t it about time that fashion houses offer clothes for all body shapes and sizes? It’s like presuming that all the people who can afford to buy their clothes are going to be thin too! This isn’t to say that they should only make size 12 and up either. I understand that there are naturally thin people too and this isn’t a negative thing. But with regards to the modelling industry, are they representing these different groups of people? I mean, how many plus size models can you think of? The only one which springs to my mind is Sophie Dahl.

When I was looking into the so-called plus size models, I found this website called Plus-Size Models Unite. To be honest I was expecting larger women…. Looking through the site, most of the models are a size 12 so it still makes the rest of us feel ‘ plus-size’  compared. I don’t want to criticise them though, I do think the site is a great idea and there should be more things like this around.

A few years ago there was a lot of controversy at Fashion Weeks worldwide as they banned ‘overly thin models’. But what do they really mean by overly thin? Size 0, -2, -4, who really knows! Although this ban raised some strong opinions and some shocking pictures, like this one of Italian model, Oliviero Toscani, it doesn’t actually seem like that much has changed.  The majority of models, especially those on the catwalk, still look a few sizes smaller than the average girl on the street and eating disorders are still a very real problem.

This weekend I was actually at the beach and seeing so many bodies in their swimwear really made me realise that no 2 bodies are the same! So why are we constantly trying to look like people in the movies, magazines or on the catwalk?Who are we doing it for? For ourselves or because we want to fit in to what is considered as more attractive or better looking? If it’s for yourself to feel healthier and be fitter then that’s great but if it’s to look like the models on the catwalk or the people on TV then maybe it’s time to stop. Do you really want to end up like Oliviero Toscani? Or do you really want to restrict yourself to being in the gym all day or to not eating desert at a restaurant? Is it really worth it? I don’t think so anyway…. so go grab the spoon and get the ice cream out, it’s only natural!

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3 responses »

  1. People are constantly “educated” through the media (TV, movies, adverts, etc): we are told how we should look and what we should buy. It’s up to each one of us to follow that education or just be yourself. I, personally, like women, no matter which size clothes they fit in. :)

  2. This is a great article! I am the co-creator of the blog Plus-Size Models Unite. We started the blog to allow Elizabeth to work on her writing/editing and to share my personal story of my struggle with body image/eating disorders, and how I overcame them and pursued plus size modeling. Plus modeling for me is about making a difference, promoting health, and representing diversity. We need more representation of women of every size, shape, and age. Growing up, I had no one to relate to in the magazines and on television, they were all defined as beautiful and I did not fit the criteria. I am a size 12, 175 lbs woman, and finally I am not ashamed to say it! The plus models we feature on our blog are all different sizes. Plus models range from a size 6-20. Our goal is to provide girls/women with role models, inspirational women we can all look up to, we want to redefine what the media calls beauty. Everyone has their own unique beauty, a size 2 woman is just as beautiful as a size 12. We want to encourage women to find what makes them special. Ask yourself, what do you love about yourself today? There is a campaign right now called Healthy is the new Skinny. They are trying to get the first plus clothing line into NY Fashion Week. Last year this same designer tried to get in and they said they did not want a herd of elephants on the runway! We want to change this way of thinking! If we all stick together, promote health and self love, a group of women can become a powerful force together!!! Sorry….I get going on this topic and I can’t stop!! Great post! Thank you! xx

  3. Hey Angela thanks so much! I totally agree with you, I think it’s a really important topic too and definitely an area where i would like perceptions to change, there’s so much pressure on people everyday to be a size 8 and it’s not realistic. If I can help in any way then please let me know! Xx

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