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“Plus-Size” Model Craze Goes International: Welcome Aboard French Elle and Italian Vogue

“Plus-Size” Model Craze Goes International: Welcome Aboard French Elle and Italian Vogue

The “plus-size” model craze (see here, here, and here for examples) has gone international.

French Elle’s April issue has dedicated 32 full pages for a special edition on “plus-size” fashion. “Plus-size” model Tara Lynn graces the cover and is pictured inside alongside Johann Dray, the first “plus-size” model to have worked in France, comedian Stephanie Zwicky, who is also known for her “plus-size” fashion line, and singer Julie Katz.

Over at Jezebel you can get a sneak peak at some of the featured pictorials in the issue out this month. I was delighted to see Lynn was photographed in real fashion spreads with designer clothing. But, as it seems is always the case, the editors had to include a nude picture in the mix for good measure.

In fact, every magazine that has gone “plus-size” has featured the models nude – Glamour did it (twice, the second time with 7 bare-it-all models) and so did V Magazine for their January issue. What I’d like to really see is “plus-size” models featured in the same off the runway fashions straight models get so it is these shots that I most appreciate. Now, all we need is more willing designers to produce the clothes and magazine editors to select the larger models.

Well, it seems like we’ve gotten some encouragement from a few of fashions most respected players. At Harvard Business School this month, U.S. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, American designer Michael Kors, and Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova proclaimed that fashion is ready for “real women.”

“The fashion industry is starting to address real women again,” Kors said. “The emphasis in fashion is shifting toward an emphasis on real women who are women, not girls.’”

The forum titled “Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in the World of Fashion” is the 13th Annual Public Forum presented by the Harris Center at Massachusetts General Hospital to raise awareness about eating disorders in the fashion industry. The event raised $150,000 for the Harris Center’s eating disorder clinic.

That’s not all.

In February, Italian Vogue’s new website dedicate an entire section to curvy women. “Vogue Curvy” is dedicated to fashion and beauty for larger women including a blog, “how to” features, “curvy icons,” and much more. The site also features video interviews with three of our favorite “plus-size” models – Kate Dillon, Sheridan Watson, and Lizzie Miller.

These three stepping stones really leave me feeling hopeful. I know I have expressed concern in previous posts about these one-off attempts at incorporating “plus-size” models in magazine issues here and there, but I have to say that the more this net expands the better.

These are baby steps, I know, but without them we will never get to a point where “plus-size” models are sprinkled throughout the pages of all magazines and strutting across runways around the world alongside straight size models.

Maybe then we can talk about redefining the word “plus-size.” Baby steps.

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Picture from French Vogue April Issue -

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5:47PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

Good to hear. There are a lot of beautiful plus-sized women who welcome and deserve recognition and representation.

10:04AM PDT on Jul 23, 2013

La salud es lo más importante. Nadie que yo conozca tiene el cuerpo "perfecto".
Debemos aceptarnos y tratar de ser felices y mantenernos saludables.

9:33AM PDT on Apr 12, 2010

Don't read the magazines. It is definitely a step forward. No one is "normal". To compare ourselves to anyone else is to invite shame in (feeling less than). Great article.

6:26AM PDT on Apr 11, 2010

Plus-size? Yeah, she's enormous.

3:17PM PDT on Apr 9, 2010

Yay! This is a truly exciting step towards the right direction! I have been plus-size my entire life, and I love my curves! I think that we should all aspire to be healthy - not tiny.

10:24AM PDT on Apr 9, 2010

les murphy, you said it - thank you.

5:03AM PDT on Apr 9, 2010

I like who I am & don't care what "they" say.
Maybe "they" should take a good look at themselves before judging others ?!!?

If they don't like the fact that I'm taller or weigh more than the so-called average, well then.....
I say....... Kiss My (US size 6) Plus Size My Azz!!!!

Have a good day everyone!!

11:21PM PDT on Apr 8, 2010

99% people consider stick-thin skeletal anorexic bodies decidedly unattractive. US size 00,0 & 2 are ridiculous sizes for adult women to aspire to. Most of these skinny types have ridiculous blown-up boobs as well sitting on their boney chests - laughable !

10:03AM PDT on Apr 8, 2010

Most of my life I have had my own style and fashion trends have been right off my radar.
However as a teenager I was influenced and that is why the fasion industry has to take responsibility for the effect stick thin models have on young and impressionable minds.
They can showcase all different sizes of model reflecting society at large. They can promote cruelty free fashion. They have such a window of opportunity to raise conciousness on both levels.

7:10AM PDT on Apr 8, 2010

Gee, I wish I could post here a photo of any Japanese model-how skinny is slim!

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