Plus-sized models hit the runways

When one looks at an ad in a magazine or watches a runway show, a skinny and “toned” body is exactly what’s expected.

Lately, however, there are models that are not necessarily skinny and might not have the body that a typical Victoria’s Secret model is expected to have.

According to a recent report by British newspaper The Independent, “designers, retailers and magazine editors demand women with curves.”

Unfortunately, even though fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabbana want plus-sized models in their ad campaigns, the likes of Ralph Lauren have received publicity for deliberately photoshopping his somewhat “plus-sized” models to the point where they appear anorexic.

Filippa Hamilton, who has modeled for Ralph Lauren since she was 15, was fired last April for not being thin enough. Hamilton is a beautiful and curvy 23-year-old who was shocked to see her completely airbrushed and empty body when the final cut of the Ralph Lauren Blue Label ad was released.

The upsetting part isn’t that Hamilton’s photo was so harshly photoshopped, but that she was fired for apparently being overweight at 5’10”, 120 pounds.

In September, Glamour did a spread consisting entirely of plus-sized, curvy models. The spread was revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October when Glamour’s editor-in-chief Cindi Leive claimed this spread was done “to send the message to young women, especially who are reading the magazine, that there are a million different ways to be beautiful.”

For Glamour, its interest in such a campaign started when a photo of Lizzie Miller posing completely natural and with a slight belly overhang was published in the September issue. Readers loved the idea because it portrayed a relief to women out there — one does not have to have a perfect body to be beautiful.

And with such feedback, Glamour went on to the next best thing — a completely nude spread of young, curvaceous women who are confident in their bodies and in their size.

The debate is not whether there should be plus-sized models; it’s whether plus-sized models are OK for ad campaigns and runway shows. Few people are the perfect “skinny” and the perfect “toned” to be viable enough for such opportunities. Even the curvy models that are popular nowadays are photoshopped and airbrushed before a final cut on a photo is released.

Many controversies have sparked when female audiences have taken it upon themselves to starve until they can be so “perfectly” skinny, but where exactly has that brought any of us? Models have had to go through starvation and so have many normal girls.

There’s nothing wrong with plus-sized models. In fact, it’s a bright change in the world of fashion and advertisement.

We, the audience, cannot always live on fantasy novels, fiction movies, or these die-hard perfect girls; we need something normal. Seeing plus-sized models seems much more relatable, and many women will feel nice knowing they are able to relate to women who have made it so far.

Just as Tyra Banks’ new campaign, Beauty Inside & Out, has proven, it’s important for women of all shapes and sizes to feel beautiful in their own skin.

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1 Comment

  • I agree with the aforementioned ideals–both for social reasons, as well as from an economics standpoint. If you saw a monkey holding an iPhone, would you be more likely to buy it than if you saw a person holding it and using it just as you would?

    People to need to see a representation of themselves using or consuming a good to know how they will enjoy it. I want to see people with my characteristics enjoying a product that I am trying to be wooed on..It does me no good to see mr. universe modeling a would drive me further away, if anything. These plus-sized models are really going to bring in the big bucks from the general population for their companies. It’s just smart business, in addition to socially beneficial to accept a wider segment of the population as your own.

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