Hannah's response is most insightful and deserves to be considered carefully. She sets out the choice very clearly:
Originally Posted by Hannah
Will plus-size fashion try to please:
(a) straight-size designers who hate womanly curves, or
(b) full-figured customers who love womanly curves?
The bookers who have been diminishing plus-size models have been doing so to kiss up to people who hate womanly curves. But this article, showing how the fashion industry really thinks, demonstrates that the mainstream fashion industry will never accept plus-size models.
Instead of offending the full-figured public by shrinking plus-size models to the point where they're nowhere nearly plus, full-figured fashion should instead simply say "good riddance" to the curve-o-phobic side of the business and start booking TRUE plus-size models, genuinely and visibly full-figured models, to please its own customer base.
Anyone who claims that 2010 was a year of success for plus-size models at the level of "high fashion" is deluding themselves. That success came at the price of the models' curves, so it was no success at all. Only events that booked genuinely full-figured, like FFFWeek, and only clients that features truly curvaceous models such as Kelsey Olson, Katherine Roll, Mayara Russi, etc., can claim to have genuinely aided size celebration.
The past year saw the ongoing diminishment of size standards for many clients. If the median size of plus-size modelling shrinks from 16 to 14 to (god help us) 12, then it is deteriorating as an industry and is losing any value that it ever possessed. Rather than subverting mainstream fashion and opening up opportunities for genuinely full-figured women in the media, it is itself being subverted by the thin-supremacist fashion establishment. Worse, by still occupying the nominal "plus-size" aspect of the industry long after its models have stopped actually being full-figured, it is standing in the way of a re-emergence of true plus-size modelling.
It would be better if plus-size modelling were banished from supposed "high fashion" glossies forever than if they were to keep shrinking, because, as we have seen, bigger girls will only be acceptable to the curve-o-phobic fashion establishment if they lose all traces of fullness--in short, if they become straight-size models.
An industry in which there were no "high fashion" editorial work at all, but the models were all gorgeous and legitimately full-figured (size 16, 18, 20 and up) would be a far, far superior industry to the one that currently exists. True, the models would only appear in print catalogues rather than in magazines (which is not actually such a bad thing, given that when they do appear in fashion glossies they are often just pages away from diet-starvation ads), but at least those opulently proportioned models would be putting visibly well-fed bodies in the public eye, letting the populace see that beauty truly comes in larger sizes.
At the faux-plus level, though, they are merely displaying another kind of skinny.
Therefore, 2010 was a year of at least as many setbacks for size celebration as triumphs. Let us hope that 2011 brings with it a greater push for authentically curvaceous models, that plus-size goddesses once again appear visibly and indisputably full-figured, and that the faux-plus girls either blossom into larger beauties, or simply enter the minus-size part of the industry which they covet, and leave plus-size modelling to girls with more abundant proportions.
If every client that currently books full-figured models were to require girls over a size 16, then the entire industry would become a unstoppable force for size celebration, and society would soon rediscover the timeless, plus-size ideal of beauty.
Charlotte Coyle (Wilhelmina, New York) modelling for Marks and Spencer. Notice the round fullness at her lower midsection.
Gorgeous and visibly full-figured (as a plus-size model should be).
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