With the flurry of recent, high-profile ad campaigns, viral Instagram hashtags, and online petitions, it’s clear that the conversation surrounding plus-size models is only getting started. But, while everyone on the Internet is quick to offer up an opinion on the subject, often missing are the thoughts of the models themselves. To help right that, Glamour recently polled 12 top plus-size models about their biggest grievances. Not surprisingly, there’s plenty they want the world to know.
For one, many of the models don’t care much about how they’re labeled. As Lilly Pulitzer for Target model Denise Bidot put it, “[I get asked if] I care if people call me plus-size…I don’t have any problem with you calling me plus-size, curvy, voluptuous, big — I don’t really give a damn. We represent plus-size women, whether or not some of the models are smaller or larger.”
Amber Tolliver explained that a woman’s size should never restrict what kinds of clothes she’s able to wear. “The question of should a plus-size or curvy woman be wearing certain things is infuriating. When it comes to straight-size fashion, any and all styles are fair game,” she said. “Clothing options shouldn’t be different for curvy women. They should be given options and not told they can’t wear something before it’s even designed.” We couldn’t agree more.
Julie Henderson summed it up perfectly, noting that the public emphasis shouldn’t even be on the size of the model at all. Rather, a successful campaign or runway show should be based upon whether the customer feels good after seeing it. “We should be focusing on how people feel when they look at us. Not ‘She’s too skinny, or she’s too big, or she’s plus-size, or she’s black, or she’s white.’ People should say, ‘This is a beautiful woman. I recognize myself in her.'”
Read more of what these women have to say at Glamour, and chime in to the conversation in the comments.