Monday, January 6, 2014

What is Plus Size?

I came across this article in the Huffington Post talking about a subject that originally appeared in Plus Model Magazine. What is plus size and are plus size models too small? Many companies use models size 10-14 to model their plus size clothes and with models standing a statuesque 5'9" and up usually, these ladies don't look like what most women consider plus size. To put it in perspective, the average woman in America is 5'4" and size 14. This looks dramatically different than 5'9" size 14. Many women can't get an idea of how they would look in the clothing when the models are so much smaller than they are. If you are a size 20 and up looking at Crystal Renn (pictured below) is not going to give you a good idea of how those jeans will fit on you.
Crystal Renn, Image Credit: Harper's Bazaar

Plus Model Magazine did an experiment to help SWAK designs pic the photo for their next ad.  They showed the same model but in Pic A her curves were boldly on display and in Pic B she was in all black and covered up masking her figure.
Image Credit: Plus Model Mag

They were shocked to find readers were split down the middle by what they felt looked better. They expected Pic A to win overwhelmingly. Overall, women want to see more models size 16 and up, but many companies aren't getting the message. This reminds me of when I worked in the marketing department at a major retail  that sold plus sizes (*hint* they went out of business a couple of years ago but their sister brand is still a leader in the industry) and I used to FIGHT and I mean KNOCK DOWN DRAG OUT ARGUMENTS with the creative director (a guy) who REFUSED to use models over a size 14. I even did research and presented him with evidence and a proposal that models over a size 14 do exist, are gorgeous and our customers want to see them in the clothes. He used to claim there were no good models over a size 14 to choose from *Rolls Eyes*. Needless to say he didn't care about my proposal and continued booking size 12s and 14s. The samples were size 18, pinning those clothes to fit the models at shoots was fun to say the least. Anywho, he would also make fun of big women all the time like it was funny. I stayed giving him the side eye.

My point is too many ignorant people at the top at these companies are making decisions based on their own biases and not based on what their customers actually want. There are a lot of skinny women and a lot of men who neither have NO IDEA what it's like to be a plus size woman and they are making decisions for her.

What do you think? Do you want to see bigger models? Do you feel they would help with confidence and with seeing how something will fit? Would love to hear your thoughts. 

Read the full article at Huffington Post and Plus Model Magazine.

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