Is a size 16 model a plus sized model or just a model? The Oxford Dictionary definition of a model is ‘A person employed to display clothes by wearing them:’ not once is size mentioned, so why do we need a special term for those over a certain size. Many people see the term as plus size as just a label, like being brunette or being blonde but many other people have a serious issue with it. Is it really fair to call a size 14 plus size when the average size in the UK is 16, surely that would just make you normal size, right?
Wrong! It seems that even a size 10 model is labelled as plus size, but surely no matter what size you are, you are just a model. You don’t have plus size doctors or accountants so what makes it so different. When you look at Myla Dalbesio’s interview for Elle Magazine it is bewildering how she can be classed as a plus size. It is considered ground-breaking that Calvin Klein would use a size 10 model because the fashion industry is still hung up on only using thin models. Anything that doesn’t conform to these standards are considered abnormal and a massive debate kicks off.
If size 10 is considered as plus size what does that say for any size bigger than that? This is what damages society and contributes to the causes of eating disorders. For example, when the media is calling a size 10 plus size, imagine what effect that has on a young girl who is a perfectly healthy size 14. Even when a plus size model is used there is a big fuss created around it as if they need a pat on the back, it is time that we realise that it is not a big deal and a model is a model, no matter what size they are.
At MCUK we use the term plus size because that is the industries terminology, but it is still important to create discussion about whether the industry should use this term, or should women who are employed to display clothes just be called models, regardless of size? We would love to hear what your thoughts on the matter are!