What is plus size anyway?

Stand up and take a bow Sports Illustrated. You’ve finally joined the ‘it’s okay not to be a size eight’ club and brought some plus size models into your perfectly preened bosom. When I saw their Instagram feed from Miami Swim Week I did a little squeal of excitement – partly because I could ACTUALLY be a Sports Illustrated model now, but mainly because it made me think ‘it’s okay to have a little squidgy bit(s).’

As ever with a fashion house using a model larger than a size eight, there’s this ongoing debate as to whether the sudden surge of body confidence advocates and plus size modelling is just plain irresponsible and encouraging people to eat Mcdonalds three times a week. Personally, as a size 12, I think that’s utter bulls*it. I wouldn’t say I eat as well as I could do, but I try and I exercise most days. Still though, my scales say the same thing day in, day out.


As you can imagine, it’s pretty demotivating. As a result I’ve taken to following a load of these so-called body activists on Instagram (shout out to my sista’s @marcielhopkins @bodyposipanda and @hava.bear) and they do a little bit to make me feel better about the way I look. I mean, let’s be frank, it could be WAY worse if I was left alone with my iPhone and the JustEat app (which I have now deleted) but why the hell should we all feel the need to conform to a norm?

Anyway, as a number of curvy girls paraded down the catwalk for Sports Illustrated during Miami Swim Week, some mouthpiece from an Australian rag has claimed the inclusion of such bodies is “irresponsible.” I’m presuming she also makes the same comment when models parade in swimwear / underwear and have starved themselves for a month before a show to ensure the clothes look exactly as they would on a hangar? Or is it just because our society doesn’t think ‘fat’ girls should sell clothes?


Soraiya Fuda wrote in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph; “It seems to me the women who appeared to be approaching the sizes 20-26 on the catwalk are less representative of the average woman but are representative of a big underlying societal problem. Parading and glorifying size 20-somethings on any runway promotes an underlying and irresponsible message that doing nothing about your weight is OK.”

I kind of agree with what Brad Frankum, from the Australian Medical Association said about not “celebrating extremes,” because he’s right, being at either (extreme) end of the spectrum can cause health issues. At the end of the day though, body confidence should incorporate ALL bodies, not just ‘plus size’. But come on guys, we should be celebrating the fact that a giant such as Sports Illustrated is giving runway time to all types of model!

It’s time to get rid of the archaic (well 2010) comments of designer Julien Macdonald who insisted that “a catwalk model is a size six to eight” when he went on to talk about the inclusion of plus sized models starring in Britain’s Next Top Model as “a joke.”

Bravo Sports Illustrated, you have at least one new customer after this.

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