Plus size vs. “Straight” size…. is it time for change?

By now you may have heard about the article in PLUS Model Magazine that many people are calling “controversial.”  Take a read through the article as well as some of the responses that have popped up in popular publications over the past week or so.  You can see that through the viral response that has taken place with this article that it is a topic that is of interest to many people.



I thought I’d share some of my thoughts:

  • Are we getting close to accepting broader concepts of positive body image and beauty?  With awareness on this topic, like we’ve read in this article, as well as the growth of the plus-size fashion industry, we are now being exposed to broader concepts of beauty and fashion. No longer are we only shown images of overly thin models and told that this is what we should aspire to.

While the images in the article have gone viral, let’s not overstate the importance of one article in changing the views of society.  I’d say that there are many previous examples that have helped get us closer to social change around body image and beauty.  Think about the Dove campaign for Real Beauty or the stance that some high-profile celebrities have publicly taken with regards to postiive body image and image enhancement.


Monique, Adele, Queen Latifah

I’d even say that the popularity of reality TV shows – highlighting plus size fashion – and plus size Hollywood celebrities have had an impact on breaking down barriers of past norms.


These past initiatives, this new article, and future awareness and education campaigns are now providing a more complete picture of beauty, fashion and style.  I’d like to believe that we are getting closer to social change… hopefully, I’m not being overly optimistic.


  • The editor’s comment that “there is nothing wrong with our bodies” is something that has NOT been a traditional message in the media.  It is rather refreshing to see a woman with an average, normal body type being portrayed as beautiful.  We all have different body types, with different metabolism and this is not something that we should be hiding.  I do firmly believe that each of us has a personal responsibility – to our bodies and minds – to eat moderately, get outside and exercise, and build/maintain positive mental health.  After doing all of these things, some of us are going to have a thin body frame, some of us will be more muscular, and some of us will carry extra pounds (and everything in between).  The more progressive message that we are starting to hear is that woman of all body types are normal and beautiful.  All I can say is that I certainly hope that this is not the trendy topic of the day but real, fundamental change that is starting to take place.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
  • I firmly believe that retailers have dragged their feet in meeting the demand from the plus-sized market.  Let’s be honest here, women of all sizes, ethnicities, ages, etc want to look current and trendy but, until recently, they have not always had options available to them.  What has taken so long for retailers to recognize the needs of this underserved market?  A couple of years ago, I came across this article (hyperlink).  It provides some interesting viewpoints on what has taken retailers so long to respond.  What do you think?

Here are some of the comments made by the editor of PLUS Model Magazine:

  • Use social networking sites and email to let brands and designers know how you feel about clothing, options and the use of straight sized models (thin models) to market to you.
  • Your dollars count! If you stop buying at “Store A” and let them know you will not be purchasing clothing until they market to you; this will raise concern.
  • Use every avenue and opportunity you have available to you for your voice to be heard.
  • Indie designers need our support

My points above are not at all exhaustive but I felt the need to share a different opinion.  I certainly don’t have a viewpoint of “I love it” or “I hate it” but rather am intrigued by the popularity of the article and the images presently.


On the other hand, I’m sure these images actually went viral because there are two naked chicks and some skin on skin action…