Join Date: November 2008
Re: Eleventh Anniversary
This has been a problem for a long as I can remember. It's the "Sophie Dahl" effect - does the industry sell out by becoming smaller and smaller, just to gain more so-called "respect" from the mainstream fashion world? If it does, then that's no success at all, no victory, and the increased magazine coverage just proves how "acceptably" skinny it's becoming. That's a failure.
In fact, it's the worst kind of failure. It's a textbook case of becoming the very thing one was fighting - the plus-size industry being is in danger of becoming an impediment to women's body image rather than a benefit.
The trouble is, I think, that too many people in the plus side of things still have an inferiority complex, still feel like straight-size fashion is the "cool" club, and they just want in. But that's all wrong, because the minus-size industry is nothing to look up to. It's something to condemn. Remember, that's the part of the industry that causes eating disorders, and promotes the billion-dollar diet-starvation and exercise-torture industries.
Plus-size fashion is at its best when it's a complete alternative to this. I remember Mia Tyler once priding herself on saying that she, like her fellow plus-size models, was "not just 'being a model,' but doing it for a reason." That's exactly right. It's not the model part that's important. It's being a totally different kind of model, promoting completely different values (healthy rather than underweight, timeless rather than modern, feminine rather than androgynous).