Originally Posted by Meredith
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.
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.
This development is truly encouraging. Government efforts to ban size-0 models, to eliminate airbrushing, to require health checks for underweight girls, are all laudable in their own way, but they nevertheless remain efforts to stop harm from happening, to curb negative influences. This is an effort to do something even more consequential: to propagate positive influence.
Increasing the visibility of plus-size models is even more important than eliminating the prevalence of androgynous models, because only by actually seeing glamorous images of fuller female bodies will the public ever rediscover the timeless ideal of plus-size beauty.
To replace underweight models with the fuller-figured variety might require nothing less than swapping out curve-o-phobic designers with pro-curvy designers. However, not all of fashion's creative souls may have their aesthetic fully formed and set in stone, at least not in their student years. Some will, but not all. Those whose tastes still enjoy a certain fluidity might discover an appreciation for curvaceous bodies, once they are exposed to them via this new program. At the very least, being tasked with designing for fuller figures will give them the techniques they need to make clothing for curvy women. Tomorrow's designs will no longer be able to plead ignorance when tasked with designing for the plus-size body.
Furthermore, the fact that the girls whom these students will be using will be genuinely full-figured, at a U.K. size 18, means that at least these designers will understand what a plus-size model is supposed to look like, the minimum dimensions that such a model should possess; hence, these designs will not default to faux-plus fraudulence, should they end up working in the plus-size field.
And if the models whom these students will encounter are gorgeous enough, these muses might entirely reconfigure the designers' aesthetic inclinations and convert them to the cause of size celebration. After all, the persuasive power of plus-size beauty is limitless.
Sophie Sheppard, a true plus-size model at a U.K. size 18, and a beauty beyond compare.
- Sophie at the Curves in Couture show