Giving Voice to the Public: A Look Into Plus Size Modeling and Fashion
With the newly found inclusion from certain designers this fashion month our first inclination is to celebrate plus size models being recognized in the fashion world; yet, we are left with a bitter taste in our mouths as we think further on the subject.
Though the world of plus size fashion has come a long way over the years, its shortcomings are blatant, tragic, and pretty damn infuriating at times. First and foremost, branding an individual as a “plus-size model” rather than just referring to them as a model seems to perpetuate segregation far more than inclusion. There are not many different categorizations for varying body types, there are just typical models and plus size models, branded as such because they are a deviation from the norm.
Additionally, as Business Insider puts it, “although plus-size models have appeared in fashion shoots and spreads for years, it is often done in a very loud, ‘we’re sending a message,’ way.” This opens up the conversation regarding tokenism and begs the question of why and how brands are including plus size models in their campaigns. Including someone in a campaign just to prove a point is arguably just as counterproductive as excluding them because of how they look. The lack of diversely represented bodies on the runway and in the fashion industry, in general, paves way for a tragically lacking market for plus-sized clothing.
Needless to say, we’ve got our fair share of questions and concerns about plus size modeling and fashion. Firstly, we’re utterly miffed as to why this exclusion and underrepresentation is still a thing. Society has made significant leaps in the right direction in terms of celebrating difference, but for some reason, this area is seemingly stagnant. People need clothing, people come in different sizes, it should be a no-brainer that equal emphasis would go into all sizes.
Because we do not want to speak for anyone, we took to the streets to hear about the experiences and struggles plus size women have been faced with when it comes to fashion. After speaking with a number of women who have first-hand experience with the industry, we’ve come to understand that plus size shopping and modeling are lacking in a great many areas.