The world is used to seeing stick thin models dominating the runway and fashion magazines. If models are above a size 2 they most likely don’t fit the requirements to walk the runway, since sample sizes are all size 2. That sounds insane since the average American woman is a size 14. If an average woman’s size is bigger than a size 2, why haven’t larger size models been better represented in the past? But there is some good news for plus-size models.
They are becoming more popular as things change and progress in the world of fashion. Plus-size model Ashley Graham has become the first plus-size model to be featured in Sport’s Illustrated annual swimsuit issue. Graham, 26, will be in a campaign for plus-size swimwear brand swimsuitsforall. As a size 16, Graham is making history in a magazine that features curvy but thin models. Graham is proud of her body and she let that be known to the world in a statement. “I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too. There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt.
The world is ready for more curves in bikinis.Swimsuitsforall helps women feel confident and sexy in swimsuits and I am so thrilled to be a part of the #CurvesInBikinis campaign,” Graham said.
Plus-size model Tess Holliday is another plus-size model to make history. Holliday, a size 22, is the first model of her size to sign a major modeling contract. It was announced last month that she signed with MiLK Model Management, a major U.K.-based modeling agency. Holliday, who is only 5’5, did not think she would succeed in the modeling world because of her height, size and tattoos. “It’s hard enough to break into my industry when you’re my height and my size but adding the tattoos on top of it, there’s not many clients that will hire you if you have Miss Piggy tattooed on your arm,” she told the press. Holliday says she was bullied for her body
type when she was growing up but now she’s proud of her body and where it got her. She even launched a social media movement called #EffYourBeautyStandards, that aims at promoting body acceptance.
It’s not just models changing the way that the fashion world looks at plus-size women, it’s regular plus-size women too. Victoria’s Secret is known for their sexy lingerie but why don’t they make lingerie for the average sized woman? Well, in the last few weeks Change.org has gathered thousands of signatures in hopes that Victoria’s Secret will offer larger sizes for women. Major retail stores are noticing that they have to change along with the world and are offering plus-size clothing lines. Target recently launched the plus-size line Ava and Viv and stores like Torrid and ModCloth are popular because of their wide range of clothing sizes.
Holliday is optimistic about what the popularity of plus-size models means for the fashion world. “I mean, I’m here right now and that is not something I would ever be able to fathom, so I know that they [major fashion designers] had to have seen it… and I hope that the movement continues, not just myself but other women being vocal about the fact that we want more options in clothing. We want more diversity and more representation of body types in the media. I think it would be silly for major designers to not really care about the plus-size consumer because we have money to spend, so why not spend it with them,” she told the press.