I think extremely. Her name is Elizabeth Green and she is a model. A plus-size model. That term always sounds dishearteningly frumpy. But it shouldn’t.
Because when I first received this shot, as part of a press release, I registered the visual shock of seeing a beautiful, sexy, quite traditional fashion image that wasn’t of a size 8 girl. And NOT BECAUSE THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH BEING A SIZE 8. Obviously, there’s not so if you are a size 8 or a size 6 or a size 0, please hold your fire. Because I am here to tell you that you are well represented in the media.
Some (me!) may say you are over-represented. Which is fine for you but not so fine for everyone who doesn’t look like you and who doesn’t get to see themselves or anything resembling themselves depicted anywhere in the mainstream media. Oh hang on just a sec, the altitude up here on my high horse is making me a wee bit dizzy….
Ok, the dizziness has passed and I’ll continue. Why did someone send me a picture of plus-size Elizabeth Green? Something about a ‘curvalicious’ *cringe* model contest being held by plus-size model agency BGM and ‘curvaceous’ fashion label City Chic (details about the label and the model contest are here). Whatever. I just like looking at the picture.
Meanwhile, Myer has announced it will use plus-sized models in its in-store parades but not the national launch event in Sydney. News Ltd reports..
PLUS-size models will share the catwalk with glamour girl Jennifer Hawkins when Myer launches its new season fashion ranges from this month.
Size 16-plus girls will appear in the retail giant’s in-store parades as it acknowledges the role fashion for fuller figures is taking in its business.
The larger models will be absent from the store’s separate national launch event in Sydney because the brands they are representing are not included.
Myer director of apparel Judy Coomber said it was the first time plus-size models had been included in the twice-yearly round of parades that traditionally start the retailer’s new season.She said plus-size brands were an increasingly important part of Myer’s offerings.
“This business is a growing business for us and it’s really important to us in terms of our complete offering to all of our customers,” she said. Myer has been building its plus-size fashion offerings which include Basque Woman, Jane Lamerton and Taking Shape with two new brands for younger women, Flirt and Monroe.
The decision to put plus-size collections on the catwalk is the latest in a string of wins for fuller figured fashionistas. In March Sportsgirl announced it would increase its range to include a size 16. Plus-size chain store City Chic will have its own parade at this month’s Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival.
Julie Parker, from eating disorder support organisation the Butterfly Foundation, said Myer’s support of plus-sized fashion would have a positive impact on the way larger women felt about themselves. “Knowing there are plus-size models on the catwalk and that the clothing is starting to get more public attention and advertising, they are going to feel more confident,” she said.
Ms Coomber said the department store had chosen to feature the plus-size models in the customer friendly in-store parades because the brands they were modelling were aimed directly at consumers. The collection launch, which alternates between Sydney and Melbourne and is a major media event, traditionally showcases the department store’s high-end designer fashion ranges.
“This is the first time we have put plus-size brands in our fashion launch, it’s a bit of a test,” Ms Coomber said. She said the store was reviewing its size ranges.
“We have some labels where there would be enough of a demand to say we should go up to another size,” she said. The plus-size models will join Hawkins on the catwalk at Myer Melbourne on September 1.
Look, bravo to Myer for doing something. This is better than doing nothing and they must be encouraged.
But with my cynical hat on – oh! dizzy again! – I’m going to say it seems suspciously like they are happy to use bigger models in the more private, low-key and media-free in-store parades but they don’t want to associate them with the high octane glamour of the media launch which will be attended by all the beautiful people. WHY NOT?
So it’s fine to take the money off customers who buy plus-size just so long as you don’t associate your brand with bigger girls publicly? I encountered this time and time again when I was at Cosmo. Companies who produced their clothes up to size 16 and sometimes beyond but who didn’t want to supply them for fashion shoots we were doing because they didn’t want to be associated with anything larger than – gasp – a size 10.
What do you think? Should we be grateful for baby steps or angry that so few people in the fashion industry and media seem to be taking body diversity seriously? On a positive note, who is getting it right? Which media? Which fashion labels? Which retailers?