DISCUSSION: The Plus Sized Model

For a long time only thin models were featured in magazines, but now we are seeing a growing trend of more voluptuous figures appearing in our beloved fashion glossies. While slim is still the majority, you have to give credit to magazines for varying it up – even VOGUE Australia featured their first plus sized model last year, Robyn Lawley.

So what is plus sized in the world of fashion? Anything from a size 10 and above could be considered curvy. Have a look at this image from Plus Model Magazine which represents the two different sizes, if you want to see the spread in it’s entirety you can do so here.

model magazine
Two models - which one would you rather be?
robyn lawley
Robyn Lawley - the first plus sized model to be shown in VOGUE AU.

And then there is the catwalk, there have been a few plus sized fashion parades recently. This week’s discussion is about the plus sized model and whether you want her to be modeling clothes for you in magazines and on the catwalk. And if you saw a larger woman with lumps and bumps (like regular people) would the clothes lose their appeal? If we had overweight models would they be giving the wrong messages just as underweight models are?

Should plus sized models only model plus sized clothes?

What are we going to give away this week? One lucky winner will receive a Colour Me Happy Noodle Box from Rainbow Designs, it’s packed with lollies! Participate by commenting below. The winners will  be contacted by email so make sure your address is current. Competition closes 7th February 2012 Midnight AEST. Australian residents only. Check back next Wednesday for a new weekly discussion.

10 thoughts on “DISCUSSION: The Plus Sized Model

  1. I think that if size 10 is plus sized that is just ridiculous to begin with. Size 10 is probably about average and if the clothes fit then model them.
    It shouldn’t be limited to only plus sized clothes because most plus size clothes start at size 16 or 18,

  2. Seeing a size 10 model in clothes that are only available in size 16 plus is just stupid, it gives people the wrong idea of what the clothes are going to look like. I think if they started putting clothes on models that are healthy, somewhere between a BFI of 18-24, and in that case its not size that matters but hight to weight, then its something we can all aspire to. Healthy is something we can all aspire to.
    I know this is something that could make the fashion industry uncomfortable because then designers have to start designing for women of differing shapes and sizes, but lets face it something that looks good on a very slim girl, is not going to look good on a curvy girl, and visa-verse, but it doesn’t mean they can’t both fall into a healthy range and look good in the clothes they are wearing. Christena Hendrix from mad men is considered to be one of the sexiest women in the world, and yet she’s about a size 14 with a BFI of around 24. I’m curvy I’d like to see my clothes modeled on someone curvy too. We are all women, we are all beautiful, we can all aspire to be healthy and happy in our skin.

  3. Wow, I just loved looking through those photo’s, what a brilliant piece. I believe that there should be a very wide variety of models of all sizes. You dont have to be a certain size to be beautiful.
    I think anyone that does modelling should only wear appropriate sized clothing, whether it is plus sized or not.
    I do think it is ridiculous that plus sized models start at a size 8-18, Australian women average at a size 16, how do they think that makes us feel.
    Most shops only cater for size 8-14 and I think that they are ripping themselves off, as they are missing a massive part of the market.
    I think if someone is healthy it shouldnt matter what size their clothes are, we should be getting taught much more about health than size.

  4. As a plus size woman I generally don’t pay attention to the plus size models that model the clothes I buy. Although they should be commended for using plus size girls, the girls they use are perfectly proportioned and they model the “smallest” size i.e 16 or 18 available in that particular style! You never see a model in the size 26 or 28 of a design.
    Most plus size woman are not perfectly proportioned, nor are “average” sized people, so no matter what size clothing you are looking at on a catwalk or magazine it really isn’t representative of how it will look on you unless of course you are the model or are the same shape as the model! I think most people are sensible enough to know you have to go in and try the particular item on to know if it fits, or suits, your particular body size and shape!
    If they used models with “lumps and bumps” the same principles would still apply. If you are not that particular body shape or have “lumps and bumps” in different places it is not representative of how you will look in it!
    So as we are all different sizes and shapes, with lumps and bumps in different places perhaps we should ditch the models all together and simple display and model the outfits/designs on cardboard cut outs! This way models can’t be sending the wrong message about weight, health etc and everyone has to try the item on to know whether it suits their particular shape or not!

    1. I understand why clothes are catologued on slim women cause let’s be honest, they do look better. However, I am size 16 and I wish to sometimes look at clothes and see realistically what they ‘look’ like on a shapely figure as myself only because it is more appealing. Being a lady who struggles with weight, seeing a gorgeous dress on a size 10/12 women motivates me to move my butt and believe I can look like that also so I’m a little of column A and abit column B on this one. What I don’t agree with is teeny tiny young women who are literally starving themselves to be the ‘thinnest of the bunch’. I have two nieces that just turned 13 and it scares the hell out of me to think that with all the celebrities splashed over every magazine has pictures of gorgeous women wasting away to please society. And they are promoting the clothes to go with it, very small teeny tiny clothes. Some girls these days may as well be walking around in their under wear due to the lack of clothing but it is accepted as that the fashion. Sure yes a mild jealousy lives inside me that they are slim but a little mystery needs to be implemented, other wise the question will remain the same, “are we just nice things to look at?”

  5. I too am considered a plus size woman since it’s been more than 20years since I have been able to squeeze into a size 10. But in saying that I cannot say that being a size 14 is a bad thing, but in the eyes of the fashion industry and the media, I am considered very much a plus size. The photos in your magazine are brilliant! Let there be more and encourage , especially younger women to eat sensible, and maintain a healthy weight, and therefore good health, as I now experience.

  6. I am really impressed that they have brought models out that are “plus size”. Most plus size women know how to dress to flatter and reduce some areas with fashion but a lot don’t! I can dress to suit but after seeing a segment on the Morning Show the other day i saw these women with a style that looked amazing! They looked amazing! It really inspired me to be happy with my size 14 hips and embrace the fashion more. But i see some women that are to worried to wear fashionable things as the girl down the street in her size 6 dress she thought made it look better. The fact that the models are showing what these women can do with their looks really made me smile. I dont think it took the focus off the clothes in fact the entire woman was eyecatching – the dress, the belt, the shoes, the woman – they all looked great.

  7. Yes the world has gone bonkers! Everyone is different, inside and outside, and everyone should be accepted for who they naturally are.

    When it comes to magazines it does seem that aesthetics come into play more than in reality (by a long shot actually!!) so it doesn’t bother me that photos are produced to be idealistic and not realistic. This ‘idealism’ isn’t new and has had it’s times throughout human history in many forms – clothing, architecture, paintings and even sculptures. Just take Michaelangelo’s ‘David’ sculpture! Pretty perfect body there!! Not sure if he was so perfect in real life though! But then again, everything was ‘organic’ back then and maybe they had better nutrition and they worked more physically so they very well could have had better, more perfect body types!

    Whatever the case, idealism will come and go and then come back again!

  8. If you look around you there are more larger size people of all ages around now than when I was young. I think it is only reasonable to have more “curvy” models if the clothes are going to be made in sizes up to 16 or 18. I do not see any problem with having a variety of different size models on the catwalk. If you produce & sell clothes in the larger 18 to 26 size then it is only sensible to have realistic size people wearing them. I used to find size 8 too large on me when I was younger but medication & middle age have seen my size double & although I am trying really hard to lose weight I can see the situation from both sides. All people would like to be represented in the fashion sphere they buy in & I think it can only be a good thing for designers, stores & magazines to cater to these needs. There are larger, curvy young people like my granddaughter who is about 6foot 2inches & happily not stick thin but really gorgeous & I am not saying that out of bias. She is not fat but solid in build & really quite stunning to look at & at 17 she has always got some young man hanging on her every word. We have endeavoured to make her comfortable with her stature since she was very young & her demeanour shows the confidence she has & this influences other people’s perception. I really think you don’t have to be stick thin to look nice & I always tries to dress the nicest I can even now as I am bigger. I think people should be encouraged to be healthy & this is somewhere between scrawny & obese & this is what should be aimed at in the fashion industry.

  9. I think the point it, no one is saying its healthy to be overweight, that is not the issue, the issue is clothing designers model their clothes on size 6 – 8 and not everyone is that size. If they go up to a size 14 – 16 in their range, they should show clothes on the different sizes so people know what the clothes would look like on them, by looking at a model with a similar size. You can’t tell by looking at a size 6 model if you are size 14. If a ‘plus size model’ is size 16 – 18, that is not overweight, (maybe in medical terms) but I think that is still healthy, I’m a size 26 so obviously that is not healthy, but that is my issue, and I know all about it so I don’t need people telling me I need to lose weight for my health. Fat people aren’t always dumb, they do know their fat and need to lose weight for health, but if someone could be fat and healthy, why couldn’t they be? For example, if there was no such thing as diabetes or heart disease, as long as you can still fit in a plane seat or a movie theatre seat, who cares if your size 8 or 28.

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