Full Figured: The New Black

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In the past year the “plus sized” section of the fashion industry has been rapidly growing. More models that resemble the realistic body type are appearing in ads, like Jennie Runk in the recent H&M campaign. Waiting for designers to get on board with the evolution is taking way too long. Designers need to finally realize that they have accomplished making more technically complicated pieces than a garment that would fit different shapes and sizes.

Everyone knows the problems found in the fashion community: the lack of confidence it gives teenage girls when they see the perfect twenty year old model in Victoria’s Secret ads, eating disorders found in models or those aspiring to be one, and the inequality of races on the runway. But this “label free” trend has really started a huge movement.

We have all been through that period, or are still in the period where mirrors, bathing suits, and skinny jeans are not our friends. When a muffin was more than a quick dessert, it was that pesky piece of fat no amount of crunches got rid of. If you never had that pinching-in-the-mirror experience you are one of the lucky ones, not missing out on anything. I’m assuming we all can relate to looking at models like Candice Swanepoel in the Victoria’s Secret Swim ad then buying the exact same suit and having it look so different on yourself that it does not even look like the same garment. Although Candice is beautiful and I completely do not mind seeing her plastered in the mall, something a little more realistic so I don’t constantly have return my online shopping orders would be nice.

Yet we get excited when we see a plus sized model who somehow make it a magazine, but should we really? If our society was anywhere near ideal seeing a bigger man or woman in something like an H&M ad would simply be the norm. I think that the fact we as a society unknowingly segregate anything “plus sized” because the fashion industry finds it more convenient if there is a plus size section in the store, or a plus size model to wear the clothes, for a plus sized fashion show. It simply cannot be a store that carries a variety of sizes who has models that advertise all the clothing. Swimsuitsforall which, if you cannot tell by the title, makes swimsuits that also appeals to a curvier consumer, like Denis Bardot, who modeled for the brand. She unapologetically posed for the ad campaign, curves, stretch marks, and cellulite, all without being photoshopped. The swimsuits, one pieces and two pieces alike, looked great on her and complimented her body type. It shows that although pretty, the super fit bikini model might not be necessarily needed to make clothing look good.

I have just recently watched the Straight/Curve film trailer, which is said to come out in 2016. It goes behind the scenes of the plus-sized fashion world, one that is usually not put on display. The film confronts the difficulties that curvier models face in an industry that veers away from people their size. It also mentions the goal of ridding the term “plus-sized” in modeling and fashion.The trailer although it only lasted four minutes really spoke to the evolution of a label free industry.

This week in the streets of New York, two plus sized models stood naked and covered in body paint in front of the New York Public Library in an effort to promote body positive body image for both men and women. People’s reaction? Everyone obviously loved it, including tourist Marnie from Ann Arbor, Michigan who stripped down herself and joined the other two women. Not only the display of support for these women, but the overall okayness with events like this taking place just shows that the demand from the consumer is present in the fashion industry.

Many women in the fashion industry have been flaunting what they got with no shame, like they should. Tess Holliday, the size 22 and proud model who is shown rocking her Fattitude t-shirt on social media, constantly speaks about the problems within the fashion industry despite the constant hate she receives about her “unhealthy” lifestyle. She recently told The Guardian that she just sees fat as being a word since discovering the “body positive community.” If you want to talk about an “unhealthy” lifestyle, what about having sometime an unrealistic reference for what is considered “beautiful” and “skinny” to look up to? People simply cannot change their traits, so what does one expect them to do in order to fit these model standards?

As stated in the Straight/Curve trailer, we are “starved from curvy women.” The force-feeding of the same body image in majority of the ads must come to a stop because most people probably look at them and struggle to find way they can relate. This body positive community is taking the fashion world by storm and should be the new trend of every single season.

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