Plus-size models: They exist, but are they influential?

Plus-size models are fluently discussed these days. Most people think they are new in the fashion industry. However, their stories started in the last century.

The average dress size for British women today is 16.

Yes, most British females wear size L, XL, XXL. Whereas the entire fashion advertising industry is promoting extremely slim, standard well-proportioned models. 

All gorgeous and shinny clothes are prepared for the slim, and others can only stand in front of the showcase.

This is not true. For the girls who are not in the perfect body shape, the existence of the famous plus-size model, Hayley Hasselhoff has screamed the announcement:

“Growing up, I never accepted my curves, but when I got the opportunity to become a plus-size model, I was able to appreciate my voluptuous body and love myself, not only on the outside but on the inside.”

Plus-size models don’t specialise in clothing that is sold in large size. This can be proved when it comes to discussions in mainstream fashion.

The September issue of fashion magazines is the highlight of the year and often plays the role of a “wind vane”. In 2018’s edition in September, the theme of British Vogue was “The Age of Opulence”.

The girl in the photo is Tess McMillan, a Dutch and Scottish mixed-blood, American supermodel. The optimistic comment praised her as no one even called her a plus-size model. She was the fleshy fairy walking out from a Baroque oil painting. Although becoming a supermodel is Tess’s long-standing dream, she was not confident before the age of 17.

She did not feel that she was beautiful, and her body was once her biggest insecurity. After shooting photos with fashion brands like iD Online, Re-Edition, Marc Jacobs, along with the voices actively encouraged by the strangers who have the same problem as her, she slowly accepted her imperfect body and became proud of it.

In this year’s 4th October, Victoria’s Secret announced the hiring of its first size 14 model. Previously, the leading brand of women’s lingerie, womenswear, and beauty products, which originated in the United States and is popular worldwide, has refused to expand the product size range. The new series is in collaboration with Bluebella, a British independent lingerie brand.

Ali Tate-Cutler is the lucky one. She also shared her feelings on Instagram. “I believe I’m the first size 14 on Victoria’s Secret ?”

You must be thinking that the plus-size model is a new career. The answer will definitely be more than your imagination.

It had been introduced in North America from 1900. A prototype appeared as Lane Bryant began his business as “pregnant women and newborns” clothing. At the beginning of the 1920s, he had devoted time on producing clothing under the “For the Stout Women ” category.

Then, Cheryl Hughes founded the first British plus-size model agency in 1985.

This all happened in the last century. 

However, it’s worth questioning:do modern females really know the existence of plus-size models? Do they understand their impact on feminism and even on the fashion industry?

We had searched for the answers in Oxford Street, a shopping centre hot spot that gatherers the youngest fashionistas. Check the video to explore their opinions on plus-size models.


Words: Yunxi Li

Video: Yunxi Li


Image: Leighann Renee on Unsplash

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