Sunday, December 30, 2007

Should plus-size clothing be modeled by plus-size models

Plus-size clothing needs to be modeled by the people it was made for, plus-size models. Aesthetically clothing designed for a larger person does not fit well on a smaller person and visa versa. A princess seem line dress looks great on a person with some shape, an A line dress looks good on a person with very little shape. That is the way it was designed. A plus-sized person can look just as sexy or hansom with the right clothing as a not plus-sized person, some times even more so.

There has been a rise in plus-sized actors, especially women, gaining popularity. Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette) in NCIS, Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) of Criminal Minds, Queen Latifah, Chenese Lewis, and Mo’nique are all top of their field. They look sexy, confident and just beautiful. Mae West and Marilyn Monroe would also be considered plus sized by today’s standards. Anna Nicole Smith was also extremely popular and plus sized. Their clothing was designed to show off their assets, made to look sexy or sophisticated on a plus sized person. Plus size models do not just model clothing anymore they are seen in ads for body acceptance imagery, lifestyle, beauty/cosmetic products, pharmaceuticals, shoes and more. It is no surprise the appeal plus size women have, up until the 20th century the classical ideal of feminine beauty was to be voluptuous.

My favourite ad campaign has been the Dove commercials. They use people of all ages and sizes. People who are real, and use their products. If you have not seen it yet try to find and watch Dove’s short film, Evolution. I know it can be found online. It chronicles the transformation of a model from an average looking woman to one with supermodel looks, showing all the steps that have to be taken to achieve the look, including the extensive photo manipulation used. So even the models don’t really look like that. I am more likely to buy a product that I see people like me in a commercial using then one a 12 to 16 year old model made to look 20 is being used.

The reality is that most people are shopping in the plus size section. It only makes sense to market products with people who actually wear the clothing or use the products. Plus size models exhibit clothing in UK Size 12 or higher; more broadly it refers to women of Size 16 or 18 and above, although a plus size model seems to be US size 12 and higher. A non-plus size women model is 34-24-34 inches (86-61-86 cm), at least 5’8” (1.72 m) tall and between 108 to 110 pounds (around 50 kg). A non-plus size male model is 5’11” to 6’2” (180-187 cm) in height and weigh between 140 and 165 lbs (64-75 kg). Even when I was thin, at my best body weight I never fit into this ideal. Not many people do.

When I am shopping I want clothing that is designed for my body shape, weight and height. I know that what looks good on a regular model will not look good on me. I have more curves and the cut of the clothing will not work with my curves. Just making it bigger or adding a panel does not work, it still is created to look good on a different body shape. Plus size clothing needs to be seen on plus size models so we can see how the cut of the clothing looks on a plus size person.

I have added Dove’s short film, Evolution at the bottom please scroll down as Youtub left a big space.


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  2. Pauley Perrette is plus size? Really?

  3. To Anonymous, Is Pauley Perrette a pluse size, yes when I wrote this. You don't have to be big to be a pluse size. Any person outside of the model standards in the industry are considered plus sized. If you are in a 12 sized clothing you are considered a plus size. Check out a clothing store. Even Walmart puts size 12 in the plus size section.

  4. I am double checking my information about Pauley Perrette having been considered plus sized. Pauley Perrette is 1.77 metres tall. Her measurements are 34-23-34 (75-57-75),
    which would make her modle perfect actually. I am not sure if I was missinformed before, or if her size has changed.

  5. Yeah, you are definitely right about that. plus size clothes should be modeled by plus sized women to whom those were made for. Plus sized women could be fashionable too.

  6. I think it would be just right for a plus sized women to model plus size clothes. Many clothing lines model slimmer women. Every women wants to dress woth the clothing that fits their size.

  7. I won't order clothes on line if it is not modeled by a woman with a similar shape as myself. I don't believe I an the only one like this. Who wants to order something and have to keep exchanging it through the mail? Which has happened to me. Now I just don't do it unless it is similar to something I already have and love.