More Voices Join The Plus-Size Fashion Conversation

Yup, people are still talking about "big women," "curves," and plus-sizes in fashion. And some of what they're saying is pretty great:

In an NPR interview, plus-size model Emme weighs in on V's plus- size issue, saying she'd like to see plus size models in every issue, and:

It shouldn't be an issue of size, it should be women. And I think that the media, especially women's magazines, would do themselves a favor if they truly, truly did this because it would reduce so much of the horrible push for the prepubescent image, the drive for thinness, the unrealistic expectations I feel that are just delivered to us day in and day out.

Plus:

There's this controversy that some people think that we sit back and kick back the milkshakes and the bonbons and all that. But in order to be a model, you have to train, you have to eat well, you have to think well of yourself and you have to be, like, a natural German-Polish big-boned gal who likes to take care. And it's natural. It's a natural shape.

Meanwhile, fashion critic Robin Givhan wrote a few things about plus-size fashion that missed the mark. Megan touched on a few over the weekend, though Givhan's intimation that the inclusion of "real" women would turn fashion magazines into catalogs seems absurd. Do women love looking at beautiful models? Absolutely. But do women also enjoy seeing gorgeous real women? Yes… Hence Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign, The Sartorialist, Face Hunter, etc. (In this story, a "fashion commentator" says: "There is now a real ripple of interest around models that are different from the standard catwalk model, who is too thin.") And when Givhan writes, "After all, a large part of our fascination with Hollywood is because it's populated with absurdly stunning men and women who are so far from average they ignite our wildest desires and persuade us to pay good money to go to bad movies," I'd say a larger part has to do with acting talent! But what do I know. In any case, Givhan does make an excellent point, in the end:

Fashion fetishizes women all the time and in a host of different ways. But the one thing that fashion loathes is a cliche. And the worst cliche about large women is that they are creatures of insatiable appetites — both real and metaphorical. And, of course, the stereotype about the ultra-thin is that they are brittle and cold.
Somewhere between emaciation and obesity lies good health. And somewhere between those extremes there is also a definition of beauty that is inclusive, sound and honest.

Hopefully the conversation means we're getting closer to figuring out what that is.

Big Women Beautiful Enough To Fit In 'V' [NPR]
Robin Givhan Zeroes In On Debate Over Plus-Size Women In Fashion [WaPo]
'Models Look Like Real Women' Shock [Independent]

Related, sorta: How Curves Are Breaking Into High Fashion [Times Of London]
Earlier: Sidibe's Designer States The Obvious: "It's All About Picking The Right Silhouette For Her Shape."

More Voices Join The Plus-Size Fashion Conversation

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