I was reading a story today about modelling in the Boston market. It's not a significant article, except for one pertinent excerpt that ties back to the Kim Alexis post.
The author of the article is a former Ford straight-size
model. Her comments are very revealing:
Back in 1977 when I first started modeling in New York, most girls were a size 6, 8, or even a 10. [Remember: she's talking about the straight-size industry.] When I posted a FORD New York headsheet on my Facebook page, many women tagged themselves in it as a way to identify with the larger sizes, as opposed to a smaller size. The women who tagged themselves sent me emails stating that they felt good when they saw the sizes of the models back then, 10s and 12s were normal and it meant that they could feel better about themselves since they were of similar size. Again I say, when did models become double zero's?
Imagine that. Even models who were size 10 and 12 (!), let alone 6 and 8, were working as straight-size
models. And that's how it should be, because models under a size 14 ARE straight-size.
It is literally true, then, that the thin girls who are being passed off as "plus-size models" today are the exact equivalent of what straight-size
models were, just a couple of decades ago. The plus-size models of the time, on the other hand, were authentically full-figured: size 16s, 18s, 20s, and so forth. Those girls may not have scored prestigious campaigns or mainstream magazine covers, but at least they were doing commercial work. At least they were accepted at top agencies. At least they had a category for themselves. At least there were truly full-figured bodies somewhere
in the fashion world.
But today, with straight-size models pushing plus-size models out of the plus-size category, the bigger girls are excluded from fashion altogether.
I do regret that sizes 8-12 are being excluded from straight-size fashion, which is where they belong. But that doesn't justify eradicating models size 16+ altogether.
The plus-size industry must start representing full-figured women again by including girls over a size 16. And of course, the straight-size industry needs to be reformed as well.
Sizes 8-12 were perfectly acceptable for straight-size advertising two decades ago, and they still are today. It's not as if the entire female population has suddenly turned into 0s and 2s. Quite the contrary.
And just as there are at least as many full-figured women size 18+ buying clothing today as there once were (many more, in fact), so do these women deserve to see fashions on models
The fashion industry needs to start getting better
about size, instead of constantly getting worse.