By Calynn M. Lawrence
Equality. That is what so many larger women have been screaming for decades . They want us curvy women to be looked at in the same way as smaller women . Perhaps, more attractive, feminine and graceful. Because you can’t be those things when you’re plus sized, right? Lies…You can be all of those things and more.
Is it true that a large portion of society tends to view heavier set women as being generally less attractive than thin women? Yes.
But, at the same time, the answer to the problem is not to try and blur the lines between the two parties involved. Instead, we should learn to embrace what we have and show that we recognize that our confidence extends far beyond society’s perception of you.
There has been progress in the world of plus sized modeling. For example, Ashley Graham made history by being the first ever size 16 model on the cover of the swimsuit issue for Sports Illustrated. Never before had anyone above a size 6 been able to land the cover. Another example would be the fact that many modeling campaigns are starting to gear towards curvy women. Thus, there has been more job creation for curvier models who are seeking work, as opposed to the limited options that they had in the past. Clearly, we can see progression within the industry. Trying to undermine that progression by saying that plus sized modeling and sample modeling should become one in the same is not a great idea.
Also, you should consider the economic side of things. Everything is not about societal beauty standards or even prejudice against heavy set women. When you think about how expensive it can be for a designer or a company to produce one large ad campaign or one large fashion show, you could see the importance of minimizing expenses. Thus, sample modeling is great for that because the smaller the model is, the less fabric they use and the less money they spend.
It also provides them more time to create multiple garments because the sewing process is much faster. Hence, when you allow plus sized modeling to be a separate category, you are acknowledging that not only are you spending more on the garment construction but you will likely need more time.
The last factor that I want to consider is that you are catering to two completely different markets. While everyone is entitled to be able to choose their own clothing and have their own style, certain things are better suited for certain body types. For example, a flowy skirt with a cinched waist and shorter hemline will more than likely look better on a full figured model than a sample size. For the simple fact that bulky fabrics and too much layering on a small model creates the illusion that the clothing is ill fit or drowning her small frame.
Just as garments that are extremely fitted and perhaps made with more unforgiving material would typically fall better on a sample sized model. With the absence of excessive curves, you don’t have to worry as much about tight garments making you look misshapen. That’s not to say that each body type can not wear different cuts and shapes, that’ s just general theory with fashion styling.
The distinction between plus size modeling and sample sized modeling should stay as is. The issue is not with categorization but it is with eqalizing the standard of beauty. If we work to advance society’s closed mindedness, then there would be no issues with being called a “plus sized model.”