The Rise of the Plus-Size Model
There’s been a lot of crazy exciting news in the world of plus-size modeling as of late. Let’s run it down.
Crazy Exciting News Item #1: There’s a new clothing website in town and it’s aiming to change the online shopping game in an awesomely positive way. Sizeable promises to revolutionize the way we buy clothes virtually and take the “That’s how YOUR butt looks in those jeans but how is my VERY differently sized and shaped butt going to look?” guesswork out of internet window shopping by featuring six differently shaped and sized girls who will model every single piece of clothing featured on the site.
Online shopping has been a thing, for like, at least a decade (the last time I can remember ordering clothing out of catalogs was, I think, poser skater shirts and floor-length cargo skirts from Delia’s in 8th grade?) and it’s a little bit bananas that it’s taken this long for someone to land on this golden ticket of an idea. Still, I’m glad the idea was landed on at all. If your goal is to sell clothes to all kinds of women, it’s short-sighted to only feature one kind of woman wearing your clothing. By featuring women of all sizes on your website, you’re not only helping all sizes of women shop as smartly as they can, you’re saying “It’s great to be all these body types. All these shapes look like a million bucks in our threads.” That’s a great thing for a clothing company to say, and it doesn’t get said nearly enough.
Crazy Exciting News Item #2: Major fashion retailer ASOS just launched a plus-size modeling contest on Instagram as a means of finding a spokesperson for their new line ASOS Curve. The contest has already received 2,000 applications in its first 10 days of competition, because, of course, there are thousands upon thousands of knockout girls with curves out there. ASOS is all kinds of excited to give a plus-sized girl a Cinderella story and make her a professional model. According to Models1 (the modeling agency that will give the winning girl a modeling contract) the clothing company is right on trend. The company issued the following statement about their increasingly in-demand plus-size department:
“There has never been a better time to be a curvy model. Demand for our curvy girls just keeps growing and it is not just the size 12, 14 and 16s that in are in demand, brands are looking for size 18 and 20 curves.”
It’s important to note that what this contest does is glamorize plus-sizes, making these sizes sought after and stylish, something that brings a girl status and makes her feel special. It’s a cool-ass way to expand the conventional standards of beauty.
Crazy Exciting News Item #3: In racier news, Penthouse Forum recently debuted their June issue and made history by featuring Kelly Shibari on the front, the first plus-size model to ever grace the cover of the magazine. In slightly less racy news, Australian plus-size model Robyn Lawley is being considered to appear in the Sports Illustrated 2015 swimsuit issue. These magazines aren’t everyone’s thing, but they hold a taste-making role in our image-obsessed media culture, and for these very visible publications to throw their weight behind plus-size models is exciting stuff for the movement.
It’s absolutely thrilling to see fashion and media, mediums that have typically been evangelical about recognizing one very specific type of beauty, make conscious changes and actively recognize different kinds of beauty. Here’s to the plus-size modeling movement continuing to skyrocket to the stratosphere.
(Images via Sizeable, ASOS and Instagram)