Here's a rare bit of sanity coming from the fashion world. The British government is backing a drive to have fashion schools mandate
the use of models who are a U.K. size 18 (U.S. size 14).
The article suffers from some politicized language, as I suppose is inevitable when dealing with government initiatives, but what matters is the bottom line: that fashion students will be compelled
to design with a plus-size body in mind. Hopefully, this will break them out of their curve-o-phobic mindset and make them recognize the beauty of the fuller female figure.
Size zero could be banished to the back of the closet under plans to encourage future Alexander McQueens to design clothes for real women. Fashion students will have to use size-18 mannequins under a government-backed proposal to be unveiled next month. Those behind the initiative hope it will force designers to remember the average British woman is a size 16-18.
The first institution to promote the new approach is Edinburgh College of Art...
Psychologists said banishing size zero would have important repercussions for the population's mental health. Phillippa Diedrichs, of the University of the West of England's centre for appearance research, said: "Research shows consumers react better to images of more realistic models.
What makes this especially significant is the size of the models whom the students will be required to use: a British size 18, which is a U.S. size 14. This means that, rather than mere faux-plus models, the students will be working with true plus-size models, since an American size 14 is the lowest size that qualifies as legitimately full-figured.
Beginning with the fashion schools is a sensible stratagem, because it will break students out of thin-supremacist habits at the very beginning of their careers -- a period when, hopefully, their creative visions are still pliable enough to recognize true beauty, and when their thinking hasn't yet ossified into pro-anorexia habits.
Let's hope that the government will compel more fashion schools to adopt this sensible, pro-curvy policy.