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Old 28th March 2012   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Re: Interview with Sophie Sheppard

I enjoyed reading this interview very much. Sophie comes across as sincere and likable, and remarkably gracious. It was a special pleasure to listen to the audio excerpts. I love her voice, with its distinctive, elegant accent.

Needless to say, my favourite comments from Sophie are her observations about model size. An important exchange comes up during the discussion of Sophie's popular sleeveless image:

“You do recognize why the public loves it? It’s not inappropriate for me to say that you look beautiful, and you also look plus-size,” I put to her.

“Yeah. And that’s what I think. I think I am a true plus-size model,” Sophie stated with a sudden increase in confidence. Perhaps she had realized that she was speaking to a member of the pro-curvy public, not a tepidly diffident client. “I’m not false-plus. I’m a size 16/18 U.K., I’m a size 16 Australia, and so I’m definitely…yeah.”

“So you have heard how much the public is clamouring for fuller-figured plus-size models.”

“Well, I’m glad. I think plus-size girls should be used for plus-size fashion,” she stated with growing resolve. “I mean, I don’t see the point in getting skinny…not even skinny girls, and padding them out—which actually happens in the industry.”

It's so gratifying to hear Sophie, someone within the fashion industry, echoing the feelings of so many curvy customers, who are sick to death of false-plus models with thin features being used and padded. Such a practice is completely insulting, as it implies the superiority of skinniness.

If plus-size fashion retailers don't affirm the beauty of full-figured women, no one will. It's their responsibility to do so; and it's also good business practice.

Far from being the curviest girl in campaigns or on the runway, a model who is Sophie's size should be the minimum proportions for plus-size models, and there should be a host of plus-size models bigger than she is.

This is probably my favourite statement in the entire article:

“Well, I wouldn’t need to pad out,” she reasoned with genuine satisfaction. “I’m actually plus-size. So I think if you’re a plus-size label promoting size 20 and above, use a size-20-and-above girl. Don’t use a size 14 and pin the dresses so they fit her, and pad her.”

It's so obvious: use size 20+ models to appeal to customers who are size 20+. To use models who are skinnier than the customers buying the clothing is actively offensive, because it implies a client's belief than thinner is better. What a noxious message to send to full-figured women!

I want that statement by Sophie to be framed and a copy sent to every plus-size company: "If you’re a plus-size label promoting size 20 and above, use a size-20-and-above girl."
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