PLUS-SIZE MODELS: HARDLY PLUS
While discussing the modeling industry today, many would argue that plus-size models have made a massive stride in obtaining respect in a business that demands skinny. More and more full-figured women have graced high-fashion magazines covers and walked in main-stream fashion shows. For example, Australian model Robyn Lawley posed for the cover of French Elle, Vogue Italia, and French Marie Claire. Just recently, Lawley became the first plus-size model for Ralph Lauren. Still, successes such as Lawley’s are rare and plus-size models gaining respect in the main-stream modeling world is hardly a common occurrence. The modeling industry is under constant scrutiny. For decades the most popular topic of complaint is that models are too thin. Reputations of eating disorders and unhealthy diets are linked to the industry. However, over the past few years, a slightly different subject is the focus of countless news articles, magazines, and blogs. The plus-size modeling industry gathers more attention now than ever before. The argument heard all around the world is that the average plus-size model wears a size far from plus. The fashion industry claims that they embrace women of different shapes and sizes, but it is obvious from most magazine spreads and standard model sample sizes that what is claimed is only to please the public. Thin models are not only favored, but given many more opportunities to book jobs than full-figured models. Some would argue that thin models are favored by the industry because that is what viewers desire. However, I would argue just the opposite. Consumers desire thinner models because the industry has convinced the public that thinner is better. Discrimination towards plus-size models or just average-sized women in general results in body image disputes all over the world. Some examples of the full-figured women and models making their voice heard are Plus Model Magazine’s editorial “Plus Size Bodies,...
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