Friday, December 9, 2016

Do these look like Plus-Sized Models to you?

January 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Activism, Body Image, Media Literacy

The average American woman is a size 14.

Average size model is a size 0.

Average “plus” sized model is sized 8-14.

Check out the latest round of SuperModel’s for Ford, ranging in size from 8 to 18.

Plus-Sized Models Ford Size 8 to 18

This week Ford Modeling Agency unveiled Ford+ Models, its new division of plus-sized models meant to turn the industry on its head by widening the playing field of what it means to be beautiful. 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 problem: do any of these women look plus-sized to you?

As someone who has been there, done that, I am qualified to say that we are being conned. The fashion industry is totally off its rocker, and the world just goes along with it like it is normal. None if this is normal.

As a Paris model at age 16, I know what it feels like to be told you are fat, to do face exercises three times daily, to not eat all weekend to prep for a big job on Monday, to get a boob job when your body is so thin your breasts have disappeared, and as Fatty sized 4 model Lara Stone says to be snickered at by stylists when you can’t fit into their impossibly small sample sizes.

Years ago I posted these pictures of Cindy Crawford on my blog to show just how the fashion industry has slowly and purposefully slashed women’s approved sizes down, to literally nothing (where the hell did size zero come from anyway?? That size didn’t exist a decade ago!)

The Frisky’s Julie Gernstein says it best;

Ford is simply sliding the scale so that normal, healthy women are now deemed plus-sized. We’ve long understood that the fashion industry has a skewed approach to weight, body shape and health, but it seems rather glib—even for the industry—to refer to a size 8 woman as plus-size.

But really, maybe it’s the term plus-sized that’s the problem. It gives a strangely perjorative bent to a woman’s form. As though a woman who is heavier is somehow “more than” what she should be. As though there is a starting point of normal that we’re all set to, and when we veer off that so-called “normal” path, we become uncontainable and outsized. After all, there’s no terminology for the terminally underweight—the model class among us—though those bodies come with their own set of health problems. Instead, model forms are lauded and applauded. And plus-sized women, of which approximately 90 percent of us would probably fit—according to Ford+‘s definition—are simply told we’re too much.

WATRD

 

Comments

3 Responses to “Do these look like Plus-Sized Models to you?”
  1. Ashley says:

    They are plus sized models, but that doesn’t mean they are plus sized women. I also wish they would use a different term for the body sizes too.

  2. I interviewed a plus sized model (she’s a 14) for my body image blog. She said (as was said at Full Figured Fashion Week) that retailers and clothing designers claim that clothes don’t sell as well on larger models. According to them, women don’t really want to see women their own size, they are looking for something to “aspire towards.” I think as consumers we need to put our buying power to work and shop those places that are willing to use the models. Agencies don’t hire larger models because they think aren’t going to get booked, thus aren’t worth spending the time on. Then when they want a larger model, they have smaller models wear custom foam padding suits to look bigger. It’s really disturbing.

  3. Melponeme_k says:

    Size 0 never existed and it still doesn’t. It is simply a matter of the fashion industry changing the names of the standard dressmaker’s fit models. Dressmaker patterns follow standard measurements. Unfortunately, they put numbers to them and of course the lesser numbers look and sound better psychologically to the weight obsessed.

    Today’s Size 0 is really a dressmaker’s standard Size 6.
    Today’s Size 2 is a standard Size 8 (The golden mean in fashion)

    The average woman’s size 14 is really a dressmaker’s Size 20.

    There is no way any fashion company would market that size due to vanity, snobbery and loads of other bigotry.

    This is why I believe women’s clothing should be sold according to measurements just as men’s clothing is sold. It takes the psychology of the “size numbers” out of the equation.

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