Is ‘plus-size’ really plus size?


As I was flicking through the autumn issue of Wonderland magazine, I came across a page featuring a ‘plus-size’ model. This came as a shock as the model in mention looked like the average glossy mag model, but she was given this label excluding her from typical standards. Comparing her to the standard of models, the only difference I came across was that this model had more of an hour glass figure. So then why is she deemed a ‘plus-size’?

My definition of a ‘plus-size’ woman is a size 18+. This is validated by most plus- size clothing stores (Simply be, Asos curve & boohoo-plus) who cater for these sizes. Therefore,  the models that are given this label within the modeling industry are not true models? Don’t get me wrong it is an important movement within fashion due to the increase of how models are represented throughout the media. As not to long ago ‘Heroin chic’ graced the catwalks and covers which caused hyped controversy into the health of the modeling industry. This lead to more and more Designers to expand their collections to fit average sizes giving the model the same focus as the couture they wear.

As with anything in this industry everything evolves into something better. For the last few decades we have seen iconic fashion turn into significance of the models due to rise of the supermodel  in the late 80’s. With the increase in use of social media models are ‘literally’ everywhere. Refresh your insta feed and it is inevitable that you will come across a model within your feed either in advisement or their personal account. This technical advantage has boomed the modeling industry into our personal environment. With such a personal expression that fashion has become, no wonder the modeling industry  have expanded to become bigger in size due to the Kim K Phenomenon which increased the desire of the hour glass figure to present clothing leading to the coinage of the term ‘plus-size’ onto more curvy models. Not only is her online presence frequent but she is always “papped in the latest couture” showing a strong influence onto fashion. But this is nothing new the hour glass figure  was desirable back in the 50’s with the popularity of one of the most well known Hollywood actresses – Marylin Monroe.

This leads to the presumption that model sizes come round in cycles like fashion. I strongly disagree as fashion is a progression that is constantly changing. It is a voice for society to express itself and the individual a form of expression. The values of the fashion industry will never change- meaning in its simplest form fashion equals expression, suggesting the term ‘plus-size’ could change meaning depending on societies view.


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