Mollie Hawkins
June 02, 2016 10:11 am
Straight Curve

In an ideal world, a healthy body is a beautiful body and clothes are made to fit the person, not the other way around.

We’re a generation sick of being labeled for our outward appearances, and famous with a platform (think, Amy Schumer) are helping us call out a media culture that is quick to put us into categories based on our pant size. But the issue of size in media and culture goes far beyond the consumers. If you’re a model, being bigger than a sample size and looking different from the standard size 0 is still a hot button discrimination issue . A new documentary is now coming together to shine a light right into the face of the problem.

With her film, Straight/Curve, filmmaker Jenny McQuaile is trying to do more than question what the “ideal beauty standard” means in the fashion industry — she’s trying to change the conversation altogether. Ideally, beauty standards shouldn’t exist; they are harmful to young people who grow up thinking being thin and white is the true vision of beauty.

The documentary features interviews with models of all sizes, agents, designers, writers, and photographers all sharing their own stories and perspectives on beauty standards — and all of them agree that the fashion industry should be promoting and celebrating all body types, not just one or two. In an interview she did for i-D, McQuaile said, “The world is a melting pot of colors and shapes and ages, and the fashion industry and media should mirror that, not run away from it.”

According to the Straight/Curve website, about 70% of teenagers think that the ideal body type can be found in fashion magazines, while only 5% of women naturally look that way. To add a bad cherry to the top of that crap sundae, about 91% of women diet to achieve what they feel is the perfect body size. Depressing, right?

Since we’re pretty keen on eradicating what it means to be “plus size,” we think it’s also the right time to change the rules of the “beauty standards” in the fashion industry. Speaking from personal experience, nothing is worse than growing up hating yourself for not looking like a magazine model. In a recent interview with People, McQuaile articulated their power and position perfectly, “We have to empower the next generation of girls to love and respect their bodies so they can stop worrying about what they look like, and start focusing on their brain power, their skills and their strengths.”

Straight/Curve is set for release in February 2017, but until then you can check out the latest trailer here.

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