There’s something rather uncomfortable about the term ‘plus size’ and how it’s continually described as ‘awesome’ when someone who isn’t a size zero graces the catwalk. It just doesn’t sit right with us anymore, but hear us out; we don’t mean this negatively. Granted, diversity is great to see – it’s a positive step in the right direction – but perhaps the media’s treatment of said diversity is part of the problem; we’re still describing women in terms of their measurements when it’s their beauty we should be seeing. Have we not yet reached a point where we can do away with the term ‘plus-size’ entirely? Surely, if we’re labelling someone as ‘plus size’, instead of just ‘model’, we’re further prohibiting women of all sizes from becoming the norm.
Take today’s news that model Ashley Graham took to the catwalk at NYFW for a lingerie collection for example. This story is making waves around the blogosphere, with various outlets describing it as ‘innovative’ and ‘exciting’ to see a woman with curves (how novel) model something that, back in the 90s, would have been the reserve of the size zero gang. Should it still be making headlines when a woman who isn’t stick thin features in a high profile show? The sentiment is there, and the celebratory tone is well meaning, but our goal should be to arrive at a point where it’s no longer newsworthy but totally normal.
— Ashley Graham (@theashleygraham) May 6, 2014
27-year-old Graham has partnered with Canadian ‘plus size’ brand (for want of a better term) Addition Elle for her lingerie collection and the pieces are gorgeous. What’s more, she modelled the new line herself at NYFW and she looks absolutely beautiful in each and every covetable item. Graham is beyond photogenic, and she works both high street and high fashion cover shoots like a pro; that’s the story, not her waist inches.
Appearing on the cover of Elle magazine and featuring in Harpers Bazaar (to name but a few), Graham is fast becoming a big name in fashion and a role model for women everywhere. She celebrates, loves and takes care of her body; something we should all aspire to, no matter our shape or size. The model frequently takes to Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag ‘#IAmSizeSexy’ which, in our view, is more body positive than the term ‘plus-size’, what with all of its negative connotations. She even featured as the star of Lane Bryant’s campaign #PlusIsEqual, which supports “women of all shapes and sizes, and calls for greater representation of women of all body types.”
— Ashley Graham (@theashleygraham) April 3, 2014
But still, it’s a move away from the ‘plus’ that we’re after. Upon scrolling through this model’s Twitter feed, we came upon one brilliant hashtag that deserves more prominence: #BeautyBeyondSize.
— Ashley Graham (@theashleygraham) December 29, 2014
That’s the point and that’s the message that should spread far and wide. Let’s make it happen, shall we?