Stop the world, we want to get off.
We’ve just learned that ‘plus-size’ models (not our term) are now wearing ‘fat pads’ to fit into clothes.
The padding practice is widespread and it’s happening because many ‘plus size’ models are not the size of the clothes they’re being paid to wear, but the size of the average Aussie woman, a size 14.
Because ‘plus size’ clothing ranges (locally) from a 16 to a size 28, clothing companies can save money by hiring just one model and pad her out to wear a variety of different sizes for a shoot.
So just when we thought the fashion industry was moving towards a more realistic body image representation, it’s beyond disappointing to realise that many of the images that we celebrated were artificially constructed.
In some small way, this is a relief. Previous to finding out about padding I thought that many curvy models had somehow magically skipped the cellulite gene. I admired their curvy and rounded hips and thighs, but now it appears I was admiring rounded pads which while adding bulk to their frames were also smoothing them over. Of course I expect some fashion trickery to be at play in any shoot, but I guess I imagined the quaint Ye Olde practice of pinning or bulldog clipping the clothing to fit for styling purposes rather than resizing models up two? three? four? sizes with pads.
We learned about padding via fashion website, Refinery29.com. The story profiled six models working in the plus size market. One of the models in the shoot, Sabina Karlsson says she’d prefer not to have to wear pads.
“When I was straight-sized, I wasn’t skinny enough, and now I’m plus-sized, and I’m not curvy enough. It would be nice to be like: I’m this model, and this is me. For society to know that curvy models don’t have the same sizes…you can be curvy and a size 12.”