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The Size Issue

6, 01, 2010

The 2010 issue of V magazine hasn’t hit the shelves yet but already it’s dominating headlines. Called “The Size Issue,” V magazine includes a high fashion photo-shoot featuring five plus size models, real plus size, not Lara Stone plus-size who is a UK size 8.

The size zero backlash has been brewing for a while but could 2010 be the year when it finally bubbles over?  The media first began to take notice of this sudden shifting of attitudes towards late 2009. It started with the Dove “Campaign for real beauty” but  really only began hitting the headlines when Mark Fast used three models ranging from a UK size 12-14 for his London Fashion Week show. Then German magazine Brigitte announced in October after hundreds of complaint letters from readers fed up of noticing collar bones rather than necklaces on models that it would instead use normal women. “It is not a question of them suddenly becoming models, they simply step out of their normal lives for a moment and present fashion for us as personalities,” said Andreas Lebert, editor of the 700,000 circulation magazine. Next U.S Glamour Magazine used a photograph of Lizzie Miller rolls and all. Then we had a preview of  Terry Richardson’s shoot for V magazine where Crystal Renn and Jacquelyn Jablonski pose side by side in identical looks and poses, “creating quite a sizeable comparison,” according to press releases. At the same time Australian Marie Claire featured former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins naked and un-retouched on its cover and today more photos from V magazine size issue were released.

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2010 could be the year attitudes shift but lets hope it’s not a shift from one extreme to the other. What fashion needs is variety and a representation of reality i.e. women of all different sizes. Crystal Renn herself a former size zero model and now a plus size 14 has said “I’d like to see everyone take on the attitude that there are women of all different shapes and sizes as ‘the beauty ideal,’ and that it’s not one type or another. There are women who are naturally a size 2–you can’t forget them, and that’s discrimination the other way. All women bring something different to the table and we have to appreciate them all.”

An important aspect of appreciating all different shapes and sizes is that the models must still look good to do their job i.e. sell the clothes they are modelling. The Terry Richardson shoot is a great example of this, the clothes look amazing and therefore so too do the models.

Image via:–is-thin-still-in–debate.htm

However, often stylists take a plus size model and just because she has curves feel that they need to emphasize these, often in an unflattering way for example this: 

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Now I am not being “sizeist” I just don’t think this photo sells the swimsuit in the best possible way, yes it is showing a real woman but that doesn’t mean this swimsuit suits her say compared to this style: 

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I am all for the use of plus- size fashion models but they must be treated and photographed as fashion models not used as examples of what a wobbly thigh or stomach roll looks like.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Marcie permalink
    6, 01, 2010 8:52 pm

    I’ve always been a fan of fuller-figured models. There’s a great site with many images of Crystal and other plus-size models here:

    They’re all gorgeous.

    The site’s forum also has thought-provoking discussions about body image and the media.

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