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Image / Editorial

Amy Schumer And The ‘Plus-Size’ Debate


By Jennifer McShane
06th Apr 2016
Amy Schumer And The ‘Plus-Size’ Debate

There’s something uncomfortable about how the term ‘plus-size’ is continually described as “inspiring” in the fashion industry. We’re all for promoting and encouraging diversity, but what the label essentially does is segregate women who aren’t a size zero, and that’s a problem. It’s pigeon-holing females into a category based on their measurements instead of focusing on all the things that make them unique and beautiful – we have a lot more to offer than our bodies, after all.

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. Actress Amy Schumer made the headlines for calling out Glamour magazine for doing just that.

Their “all-plus-size issue” was intended to be a landmark moment in body positivity and fashion (yet it still categorises models of a certain size), however, Schumer publically expressed displeasure after the issue included her name along with Adele and model Ashley Graham as?one of the??women that inspire us? without telling her beforehand.

The publication insisted they didn’t intend to label Schumer as such (the comedian says she is a 6-8, whereas ‘plus-size’ in the US is classed as a size 12 and up) and simply included her because of her stance as a positive role model amongst women.

“The cover line on this special edition?which is aimed at women size 12 and up’simply says ?Women Who Inspire Us,? since we believe her passionate and vocal message of body positivity IS inspiring, as is the message of the many other women, of all sizes, featured. ?The edition did not describe her as plus-size. ?We are sorry if we offended her in any way,” Glamour said in a statement.

The online masses objected to Schumer distancing herself from the term when she has spoken in favour of women of all sizes before, but looking deeper into the issue, it wasn’t that the magazine allegedly deemed her a ‘plus-size,’ it was the fact that they labelled her at all. Why the need to constantly put a tab on females and their shape? It does not unite, instead creates further distance between unattainable industry norms and real women, with real bodies.

Recently both Graham and Melissa McCarthy voiced their objection to the label with Graham calling it ?totally outdated? and McCarthy criticising the?obsession with categorising? women.

We need society as a whole to look beyond the plus-size paradigms. There’s no one perfect body; all bodies are good bodies and uniquely?beautiful. This is what we should be should be shouting from the rooftops, instead of applauding women for having curves, so let’s start spreading this positivity as much as we can.