Posted on October 30th, 2010
The fashion world certainly seems to be fascinated with the idea that larger women can be beautiful. In fact, New York’s first ever plus-size fashion show took place in September, resulting in a heated debate over whether plus size is OK and “fat” can be considered beautiful.
Here’s our take on the subject: First of all, we certainly hope that stick thin models will become a thing of the past. We have read so much about models being forced into crazy diets, using smoking, drugs and a myriad of others risky behaviors to avoid gaining weight. We sometimes leaf through a magazine, and the models are painfully thin – it’s difficult to look at these women without feeling bad for them and sad for an industry that has come to promote such extremely low body weight (in many cases these models are medically underweight) as a female ideal.
vs a model in a traditional fashion show
Having said that, as the pendulum swings to the other side, we worry that fashion will again go to an extreme – just a different one. Doctors tell us that being overweight is unhealthy and can cause many serious health issues. While overweight women certainly deserve beautiful clothes, and should not be ostracized by the fashion industry, do we really want to make “plus size” the new female ideal?
What we really want to see happening in the fashion world is not separate shows for skinny models and for plus size models. What we really want to see is the traditional shows featuring all kinds of women – thin, plus size and everything in between. We also want to see different figure types (note that most plus size models are still very tall), different ages, certainly different skin colors.
Above all, we would like the fashion industry to stop ignoring the sizes that are considered medically healthy, because those are the sizes that should become ideal. So if size zero is often underweight, and size 16 is overweight, why can’t we see models in sizes 4, 6, 8, 10? Women who eat healthfully, exercise, and whose weight and BMI are considered healthy? Those should be our role models, and we would like to see them represented in fashion shows.