In recent years Marquita Pring has become one of the most well-known plus-size models, walking in Jean Paul Gaultier's spring 2011 show in Paris, and appearing in V magazine's plus-size issue last year (as well as our own list of five plus-size models to watch). Pring has also branched out with back-to-back Levi's campaigns. In a recent interview with New York Magazine, Pring shared her thoughts on the future of "plus-size" modeling:
What is your stance on plus-size modeling? Do you think the industry is shifting to a broader audience, or is this just this year's trend?
"Broader audience" [Laughs]. My stance is that the industry needs to embrace diverse women. I find it interesting that the fashion industry is notorious for change and constantly coming out with newest hottest trends before the previous one has even been played out. I don't think this uprising of curvier models is just a trend. I think people are realizing that we are healthy, beautiful, happy women who are finally being discovered. I mean, let's be honest, economically and psychologically it is in everyone's best interest to include all sizes and models, regardless of the titles put on them. Designers will be making a lot more money by embracing a wider range of sizes, and women everywhere will start to feel better about themselves when they finally realize that to be beautiful, they do not need to conform to someone else's ideal...
Do you think there will ever come a time when plus-size models will be equally embraced as "normal" size zero models?
Well, for one, I think we need to phase out the category "plus-size models." I'm a model. I'm doing the same catalogue and editorial jobs as the "normal" models. Slowly, as designers start incorporating bigger girls into their shows and campaigns, I'm confident people will start seeing us as normal, healthy models who are just as beautiful and capable as the girls we are used to seeing. I think curvier models are still viewed as relatively new to the fashion world. People are finally starting to embrace us, and we aren't just being seen for our tits and ass, but for our overall beauty and ability.
Pring is more optimistic about the fashion world's willingness to accept larger models than we are, but then again, she is one of the handful of models challenging industry standards. She says that in 2011 she hopes to work with photographers like Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, and Steven Klein because, the V shoot, "gave me a taste of that, and I loved it." While five or 10 years ago, that goal may have sounded far-fetched, it does seem likely that she'll work with more top fashion photographers. Unfortunately, dropping the term "plus-size" still seems quite a few years off, but Pring may be one of the models who help usher in the change.
Meet the New Girl: Marquita Pring Wants to Phase Out the Term ‘Plus Size' [New York Magazine]