PLUS Model Magazine, a publication celebrating the plus-size fashion industry, recently published some interesting statistics about the models exhibiting plus-size clothes, selling plus-size products, and are generally defining female beauty.
Summary of the statistics:
- Twenty years ago, the average model weighed 8% less than the average woman and today, she weighs 23% less.
- Today, most models meet the BMI (Body Mass Index) physical criteria for anorexia.
- When the plus-size modeling industry began, the models ranged in size from 14 to 20 and today, the average plus-size model is between a size 6 and 14.
- The average American woman (50%) wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller, even though customers continue to voice their dissatisfaction.
The reason this article is so interesting is because it brings forth an important aspect of the greater fashion industry. It also gives a voice to the plus-size modeling and fashion industries that are not often a part of the general fashion industry conversation. The response to the article reveals that general standards of beauty are not in synch with the reality of the consumer and begs us to question why there is such a disconnect. The article also questions the effectiveness of marketing to plus sized women as well as offer ways for full figure women to be more active in facilitating change in perceptions.
Some of the suggestions were:
- Support companies who effectively market to full size women
- Use social networking sites and email to voice your opinion to designers and brands about clothing and the use of straight sized models (thin models) for marketing
- Mindful shopping– If you stop buying at “Store A” and let them know you will not be purchasing clothing until they market to full size women, this will raise concern
- Support independent designers or clothing lines, like ArielSimone, that support and design for full size women
This idea of effectively marketing to full size women is something we care a lot about, since a lot of our clients are bigger than a sample size 2. It’s definitely a challenging topic to address, but we felt compelled to write about. It’s not just about marketing in print either. It’s not often you see plus size looks on the runway. We happen to LOVE putting plus sized looks down the runway, but often feel that there is not a lot of representation at open calls. At our F/W 2011 show, we had only one plus sized look. Our gorgeous model rocked it and it was a favorite look of the evening! That being said, we wish we had more opportunity to market to the full-size girl.
Feel free to check out the full article and let us know what your thoughts are!