Another "plus-size" model has weighed in regarding the label and its merits. This time it's Hayley Hasselhoff (yes, daughter of David; she also appeared on the short-lived-but-excellent ABC Family show Huge) and she's actually pretty cool with the label.
She defended the term in a conversation with the Huffington Post, at British Plus-Size Fashion Weekend:
She said there's nothing wrong with deeming someone "plus-size" — as long as we readjust our definition of the term. "At the end of the day, it just means 'curvy,'" she said. "That's why I think the word 'plus-size' in the industry is very different from people's mind view of what 'plus-size' really should mean."
Well, it means something a little more specific than simply "curvy." And that particular definition comes close to letting the fashion world entirely off the hook when it comes to body diversity. If it just means "curvy" then hey, why bother with larger models? (Also some of us who are plus-size are only "curvy" in the sense we are circular in shape.)
But it's also nice to see a "plus-size" model embrace the term. Sure, many of them aren't technically plus-size (which, as a consumer who is, is goddamn annoying). And it's easy to understand why someone like Robyn Lawley wouldn't want to be boxed into an industry niche. But statements like, "I don't think anyone should be called plus-size" ring a little problematic to someone who identifies with the description. (And Lawley did later clarify that what she meant was plus-size shoppers shouldn't be segmented off into their own shitty section of the store, so, preach.)
Maybe the only thing anyone can agree with is that the term stirs up a lot of feelings. Which makes Hasselhoff's argument to HuffPo that there's something to be said for events like plus-size fashion weeks, which make larger ladies the center of attention, all the more interesting: "Plus-size girls can look to the Plus-Size Fashion Weekends and feel like it's special — it's something for them and for their bodies." It's frustrating for us fat ladies to feel locked out of the fashion fortress, but there are a lot of indie designers and friendly retailers who've stepped up.
Regardless, she thinks the "glorifying obesity" business is nonsense:
"What we're doing is showing different body shapes and sizes so that you can feel confident with any shape or size that you are," she said. "Fashion can always be a part of your life no matter what shape or size you are. You don't need to feel like you have to fit into a box because you aren't a certain size that your favorite designer carries."
So... don't hassle the Hoff.
(Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Image via AP.