Should "Plus Size" be Banned From the Modeling Industry?

Posted on March 24 2015

Should the term “plus size” be banned in the modeling industry? 

There have been headlines surrounding this for the past couple of days. The discussion started when the former “Australia’s Biggest Loser” host, Ajay Rochester, began the social media campaign #droptheplus on the grounds that this term is harmful for average women. Other models have gotten on board, claiming they feel typecast by the term and that a model is model regardless if she wears a size 2 or 16.

The other side to this argument is that “plus size” is as needed as other terms like “juniors”, “petite” and “tall”. It simply describes a classification of clothing that the models model. The modeling industry would need some terminology to denote models who fit into sizes 14 + clothing regardless.

It seems both sides can agree on one thing. The term “plus size” has  negative connotations that stir up strong feelings. It’s believed that the negativity associated with the term is so strong that it’s the cause of some fat shaming and bullying.

Ultimately, its these negative connotations that need to be changed not the terms used. You can rebrand “plus size” as “curve” or “full figured”, but the negative connotations will follow. However, we think we’re at the beginning of a change. The way to improve the negative associations is to increase exposure of plus size women by featuring more "plus size" models in campaigns (and more diverse models in general!), more curvy actresses in all media, and by being confident and proud plus size women ourselves. Now we’re not saying everyone should strip down and post bikini pics to your Facebook page, but we are saying don’t fall prey to the negative connotations yourself. Be proud to be you!

"Plus size" model Ashley Graham #moremodeldiversity 

See our recent blog post on model diversity and join our campaign to see #MoreModelDiversity HERE

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