6 Reasons Why We Should ‘Drop The Plus’

Fashion, Opinion

STEFANIA

“I am a model FULL STOP.” Says the face of Dita Von Teese’s lingerie line, Stefania Ferrario.

“Unfortunately in the modelling industry if you’re above a US size 4 you are considered plus size… I do not find this empowering… I am not proud to be called ‘plus’ but I am proud to be called a ‘model'”.

Stefania is one of a group of models, alongside Australian TV presenter, Ajay Rochester, who are campaigning to get the fashion industry to #DropThePlus – as in ‘plus size’ and stop classifying models by their size. The campaign is now widely trending on Twitter, with women worldwide tweeting their support and sharing selfies like Stefania’s.

There have been objections, of course, with many in the industry saying ‘plus size’ is a term simply used to differentiate. How is it any different from petite? But whereas petite describes a certain body ratio, ‘plus size’ doesn’t describe anything. Plus what? What is normal? Is normal the industry standard size 10? That’s ridiculous, right? That is the message that the fashion industry is currently sending out.

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Here’s why we need to ‘Drop The Plus’:

1. ‘Plus size’ is a pointless classification, when we already have a very successful, numerical system of differentiating between sizes e.g. 10, 12, 14

2. The term implies that anyone who is larger than a size 10 is not normal, or too big. This is extremely damaging and leaves women wondering “If she is a plus size, what the hell am I?” A perfect example of this is the Calvin Klein model, Myla Dalbesio, who was labelled as plus size, causing outrage.

3. Fashion is about empowering people to express themselves and be confident, it shouldn’t be about excluding people because of their size and making them feel insecure and inferior.

4. ‘Pus size’ is not just negative for the consumers of fashion, it is damaging for the models themselves. It stigmatises all size 12 and above models as “not real” or “not normal models”, just as the label of “real women” with “curves” excludes those models who are smaller, as if they are not real women.

5. Yes, ‘plus size’ did serve a purpose when women over size 10 had completely separate divisions within model agencies and were so rarely seen in campaigns and editorials that it genuinely shocked us to see them in Vogue. ‘Plus size’ was a fashion movement and it worked. Yes this is great, but the real success is when fashion rejects the plus label and starts accepting these models as an industry standard.

6. Language matters. Contrary to popular belief (we are all familiar with the rhyme – sticks and stones may break my bones….) words have an exceptional effect and can be irreparably damaging. As Stefania says “I am a model FULL STOP.” Just we are all women FULL STOP.

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#droptheplus

@stefania_model

@ajayrochester

@droptheplus

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Robyn Lawley – Fashion’s Breath of Fresh Air

Fashion

Robyn Lawley

 

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Robyn Lawler: chair

 

The strikingly beautiful model in these photographs has modeled for Ralph Lauren and appeared in Vogue. She is Robyn Lawley who, at 6ft 2in and 12st is classed as a “plus-size” model. Since appearing on the cover of Vogue Italia, Robyn has won various awards for her work and now has her own swimwear line and food blog. She has defied all obstacles of today’s fashion industry to become a supermodel who is recognised for her jaw dropping features and indisputable talent, rather than her size zero frame. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that she is a downright inspiration to all women alike.

However, it would seem not everyone agrees. When a photo of Robyn wearing a corset was posted on Facebook recently, users replied with an array of hurtful comments such as “Pig” and “too fat.” This is because, despite having more sex appeal than all the models at fashion week put together, Robyn doesn’t have a “thigh gap.” Yes, like the most, her thighs touch, but according to the latest women’s body craze this is just not acceptable, even though, for most women, a “thigh gap” is a physically impossible body shape to achieve.

Robyn’s response to the comments was sensational, writing on the Daily Beast ‘You sit behind a computer screen objectifying my body, judging it and insulting it, without even knowing it’ and ‘The truth is I couldn’t care less about needing a supposed “thigh gap.” It’s just another tool of manipulation that other people are trying to use to keep me from loving my body. Why would I want to starve and weaken my natural body size?’

It is responses like these which lead me to believe that Robyn truly deserves to feature on the fashion covers she has graced and has every right to travel the world enhancing the truthful idea, that healthy is beautiful. These are the exact views and attitudes that the fashion industry should be encouraging.

The fact that Robyn Lawley is classed as a “plus-size” model means, shamefully, she might never be “perfect” in the critical eye of the public, but in my eyes she is the most refreshing supermodel out there.