Size 6 (US) is now "plus size"?

Kate CP - posted on 01/12/2012 ( 50 moms have responded )

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From http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/201...



A size 6 is now plus size in the fashion world, and most runway models meet the physical criteria for anorexia, according to a report that offers shocking insight into the disparity between models and the real-life women they are purporting to represent.



In the January issue of PLUS Model Magazine, plus size model Katya Zharkova and a straight size model are seen in the nude in an attempt to “open the minds of the fashion industry," which is stepping further away from reality, according to PLUS founder and editor-in-chief, Madeline Figueroa Jones.



The magazine reveals that some of today’s plus size models are wearing the same size as models Christie Brinkley, Paulina Porizkova and Cindy Crawford at the height of their fame in the 1990s. Zharkova, 28, wears a size 14.



The photos appear alongside statistics about today's sometimes dangerously thin straight size models and the continuously shrinking frames of plus size models. Among the revelations: “Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8 percent less than the average woman. Today she weighs 23 percent less” and “most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia.”



When Jones first saw the images, shot by photographer Victoria Janashvili, her reaction was immediate and emotional.



“I nearly cried,” she told Fox411.com. “The images were submitted to other mainstream magazines and while they loved what they were seeing, they would not publish them. When they came to me, there was no hesitation on my part. I knew this would be amazing for people to see and that if we added the correct statistics, the impact would be powerful.”



And powerful it was. When PLUS model magazine published a blog post, boldly titled “Plus Size Bodies, What Is Wrong With Them Anyway,” it spread like wildfire.



The post asks why the fashion world is afraid to cater to plus size women in advertising, but is willing to accept their dollars.



“This is not about healthy vs. non-healthy women,” Jones tells Fox411. “Because if that was so, most of the models on the runway in New York and Paris would not be walking. Not eating for days at a time can’t be healthy. But I don’t see anyone proclaiming how unhealthy it is and yanking them off the runway and denying them fashion.”



Jones added that the feature is simply about “those plus size women who do embrace their size and want to be treated, marketed to and accepted as equals.”



The response to the blog post blew Jones and her team away. It received more than 300,000 hits within the first days of being published, as well as more than 7,000 Facebook shares and more than 1,000 on Twitter.



“The statistics and photos in this article have had a global impact,” Tulin Reid, Executive Marketing and Creative Director of PLUS said in a statement. “As a plus size fashion magazine, we are thrilled with the results as it expands the conversation that we have monthly between advertisers, designers, readers and the modeling industry.



“We are not advocating an unhealthy lifestyle, but the right to have as many fashion options as the next size 2, 6 or 8 woman,” Jones said. “There are all sorts of epidemics right now besides obesity, which include cancer, auto immune diseases and a myriad of eating disorders.”



Most of the comments on the post have offered support of the message and include shared accounts of painful shopping experiences.



Still, the response hasn’t been all positive and Jones admitted that the experience was an eye-opener for her.



“I knew that we would get some backlash but I did not expect for plus size women to be compared to drug addicts,” Jones said. “Some of the feedback was so bad, we couldn’t even approve it for the public to see. But we want the conversation to happen because it gives us the opportunity to help them see that this is not a health issue. It’s an equal rights issue.”



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/201...

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

Why do people think this is a new phenomenon?



In the 1900's the perfect figure was 5'4", 10 stone with a corseted waist.



In the 1920's the perfect figure was the flapper. Slim and shapeless, with bound breasts. Any hint of excess fat being considered a sign of over indulgence.



1950's, return of the hourglass figure. Marilyn Monroe became the style icon with her voluptuous curves. Her size 16 figure is NOT the same as size 16 today. Any size 16's here with a 23 inch waist? I'm a US 6-8 and I don't have a 23 inch waist. I used to when I was considered a size 4!



1960's,Twiggy was in at 6 1/2 stone and the prepubescent boy look was the trend of fashion.



1970- 1990, Exercise became the new diet. Being perfectly toned was hot.





Clothing sizes have changed over time to accommodate changes in the average height and build. They will continue to morph and change over time. You cannot complain about clothes getting smaller because they are not. They ARE getting larger. Some call it vanity sizing. It is not. It is natural progression in sizing.



The average women is a size 14... is that ideal or an average because America has an obesity crisis pushing the average size up?



Until women stop obsessing over the label and start concentrating on living a healthy lifestyle with a quality diet and a regular intake of exercise nothing will change.

One body shape will continue to hold power.

[deleted account]

The stuff on the catwalks isn't even available in the designers boutiques. The stuff you see on the catwalk models is haute couture, strictly made to measure, and it's purpose is purely to gain press interest.



The items in store, prêt-à-porter, are a toned down version. Designers are still working from a different average (compared to the high-street) when cutting patterns. The patterns are probably truer to fit. They are catering to a social elite who can afford to have the "perfect" figure.



Smaller boutiques have to turn a profit. Larger sizes cost more money in fabric to manufacture and if they only account for a very small percentage of business, then it isn't cost effective.



Regular stores are trying to fit a wider range of builds into one size and therefore tend to cut more generous.

[deleted account]

I don't think any woman can buy clothes straight off the rack and have them fit right--almost every article of clothing I own, with the exception of sweats & tees, has been altered--and I don't really know any woman who doesn't have to have her clothes altered.



Our bodies are simply too different and too varied for most mass retailers to accommodate. My measurements are pretty standard (32D, 23 waist, 33 hips, 63inches tall) but pants must be hemmed and taken in just above the butt, shirts have to be taken in at the waist and shoulders, let out if they fall below my hips, and re-darted usually higher than the original darts, skirt hems almost always have to be let out or taken up, and the waist adjusted, and the shaping darts on dress pants and fitted skirts are almost always too curvy.



Basically, size is just a ball park--in some areas, I'm bigger than a size 2, in others, I'm smaller than a 0. Not to mention the differences between stores. I know we try to, but I don't think we can accurately define ourselves by a size number. Measurements are not terribly accurate either--I mean, they are accurate, but a 23 inch waist would not be healthy for a 68inch tall woman. It's all relative.



The plus and straight size models in the article were both beautiful, but they ARE different and they would wear different style clothing. I cannot wear the boxy, tailored styles my bigger friends wear, just like they can't wear the flowing, drappy styles I wear--well, we could wear them, but we'd not look nice. There is a reason for differentiating, but one should not be above the other.

Mrs. - posted on 01/16/2012

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Tara, check out H&M, it tends to fit smaller. Also, Esprit and sometimes Club Monaco. When I was very ill for a few years I was smaller than you, but still had boobs. Those are the stores that worked for me. H&M is the cheapest of them. Oh and Zara can work for a smaller body too.

Krista - posted on 01/16/2012

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Emma, a 14-16 AUS is a 10-12 in American sizing. You're not taking height into account at all. One of my best friends is 6 foot 1, and the other is 5 foot 10. Both are of athletic build. They're both a size 12, and trust me, that size is good for them.



The bugger with weight and BMI is that it's only a very small part of the picture. I remember when the whole BMI thing came out, a women's magazine, just for kicks, calculated the BMI of the Yale women's crew team. Virtually all of them had BMIs that put them in the "overweight" category, even though they were all elite athletes with wonderful cardiovascular health and very little excess body fat.



Not to say that YOU might not be too big at that size. You might be. But speaking for myself ,when I am a size 10, I definitely do not look fat, and I do not suffer any ill health effects from that size.

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Merry - posted on 01/18/2012

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I've never had anythingthing altered either, but that's just cuz I'm cheap and have no real need to have clothes that fit perfectly. If I buy juniors short pants theyre too long still" if I buy petite short pants theyre too short but petite average is too long.

It's not a huge deal just annoying.

Sherri - posted on 01/18/2012

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It may be also because I always wear heels too Kate. So really I want them a bit longer so my hem comes almost to the bottom of my heel.

Kate CP - posted on 01/18/2012

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Sherri: You are blessed with a body that is proportioned just the right way to wear clothing off the rack, then! I'm 5'2" and I usually have to have my pants hemmed, even if I buy petite sizes. My torso is longer than my legs, so even petites are long on me.



Just depends on your physical make up, I guess.

Sherri - posted on 01/18/2012

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I am only 5' and I always buy my clothes off the rack and don't have a problem. I just buy petite or short and they are the perfect length. I don't think I have ever altered anything I have bought in my life.

Stifler's - posted on 01/17/2012

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I ALWAYS have to get my jeans hemmed if I don't they have to be rolled up.

[deleted account]

Some people measure waist on the pant line. There are so many people with no idea how to measure themselves.



A few years a go your figure was the most sought. Think how many women wanted to emulate Pamela Anderson!



It's definitely not an easy shape to dress on the highstreet.

Tara - posted on 01/16/2012

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lol Cathy, the natural way.

My measurements were taken by a lady in the summer who was supposed to fit me for a dress I never ended up wearing, I think she measured just below my rib cage, there isn't a lot of space between my ribs and my hips!

[deleted account]

Tara, how the hell did you get six kids out of your 32 inch hips???



*edit to add* Is the 28 inch waist a high or low waist measurement? Where are you actually measuring?

Merry - posted on 01/16/2012

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I've still never owned a pair of pants that fit perfectly. Theyre never the right length.

Tara - posted on 01/16/2012

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I also wanted to add that buying clothes is a pain in the ass for me. There are few places that carry clothes small enough for me now. If I do happen to find a pair of jeans I like it's unlikely they sell them in my size. I have literally spent hours looking for clothes that fit my frame and curves and it's often a frustrating experience.



Places like Walmart suck for tiny people. They rarely ever carry anything smaller than a size 6 and if they do, they get a limited number of whatever it is, dresses, jeans etc.

So all the other short small curvy people go without.

This is one of the biggest reasons I HATE shopping, cause it's really hard to find stuff that A. I like and B. comes in my size.

Tara - posted on 01/16/2012

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Okay this is interesting because I have recently been out shopping for clothes, tried on all kinds of different jeans, skirts and dresses. And went to many stores. I hate shopping for clothing. HATE it. But my honey was good enough to drag me out and force me to try stuff on and come out and show it off etc. he's honest but in a nice way. :)



So at Walmart I wear a size 4 jean, same with at Zellers (canadian department store, now owned by Target, lol)

I'm a small shirt size and a 6 dress size (no idea why)



Then I went to Reitmans, a Canadian (I think) women's clothing store.



I am a size 2 there, and some of the skirts in size 2 were too big.



I am size 2 jeans there, all fit nicely.



I am an extra small there.



All of this is also in their "petite" section.



Now here are my measurements.



I am 5 feet tall,



I wear a 40DDD bra size. (huge knockers here!)



My waist is 28 inches



and my hips are 32 inches.



I weigh 120 pounds



I should NOT be a size 2!!



Vanity sizes is what I have heard them called and I think it's bullshit.

Sizes used to be based on measurements.

Edited to add my weight.

Stifler's - posted on 01/15/2012

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Also do you really want to see size 16 and above women wearing dresses just under their butt,skin tight tops or short shorts made for someone who is size 6-8-10 shaped? No.

Stifler's - posted on 01/15/2012

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And being larger than size 14-16 AUS isn't any good for anyone. I am a 16 and like 87kg. That's way too fat by any standards not just fashion industry.

Stifler's - posted on 01/15/2012

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and cathy that is so true i have never seen a celeb or pic of anyone wearing things from the catwalk.

Stifler's - posted on 01/15/2012

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heh. back in the day the average woman wasn't like 80kg. so of course models weighed only 8 per cent less.

Michelle - posted on 01/15/2012

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Here in Australia I recently saw an article that slammed a larger woman for wearing her bathing suit in a magazine shoot because she is a plus size woman as she was showing it was ok to be overweight but they didnt bother to mention the anorexic supermodel for showing a bad influence there. Wish societies critics would stop being so one sided

Janice - posted on 01/15/2012

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@Kelly I cant shop at most stores, such as Gap, because I'm so tiny. Your post makes a ton of sense. It is so frustrating to spend a day trying on clothes and buying nothing and then be told by average sized women that I am so lucky. grr

I really dont think most women pay attention to runway models. And obviously the clothing in stores aren't cut to them because then no one would be able to buy clothes. Only models are 5'9" and 115 lbs!

@ Kate you sound like an episode of What Not to Wear. :) You are so right!

Kate CP - posted on 01/14/2012

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Many women will judge themselves based on their clothing size. But, if a shoe doesn't fit it's the shoe's fault, not your foot.



But if those jeans are too tight it's because your butt's too big. We, as women, have psychologically done a real number on ourselves. :/

[deleted account]

That said, and KNOWING as I do that the size number on the tag is essentially meaningless, I still allow it to mess with my self....not so much esteem, but my identity.



I am a 0. Some days, most days, I hate that I am a 0 when I should be a 6--it's like I'm nothing, like I don't exist. Yet when my weight creeps up and I fall into a 1 or a 2, I feel I've lost a part of myself (when in fact, I've gained a part of me that was missing). I feel out of control, lost, and generally disgusted with myself. Not because I'm fat--I'm not--and not because I think I look ugly--quite the opposite really, I finally get a little feminine curve going on--but because my number is off. How, as a society have we let that number become so important to us?



I know I'm an extreme case, most of you know I have an eating disorder, but I am under treatment and have it under control, but I am not alone. Many women who do not have these neurosis share my mind set and attachments to the little numbers on their tag. My doctor tells me that many women are attached to their number because they are less direct than their measurements.

[deleted account]

I agree with what Jane said about stores not stocking sizes above a certain size--I cannot remember the last time I saw anything above a 10 in a regular store. I know you can get the larger sizes in chain stores like Gap or Guess, but I tend to avoid those as I am smaller and they tend to cut their sizes larger (plus I like to support small business). I know in Micheal Kors or Roland Mouret I am usually a 2 or a 4, but in something like Gap or Guess, a 0 is hanging off of me. This sucks because most of the stores that still cut to proper size are really pricey.



The newer size cuts also amplify what was said earlier about stores not wanting to stock bigger sizes, but larger stores must still accommodate the general public to stay profitable. I was working at the Gap when they changed their sizing, the size 6 (the smallest size at the time) clothing was first re-tagged as size 2, which allowed the largest size at the time (16) to be cut 2 sizes bigger--thus accommodating a larger public without stocking larger sizes. Plus, women who wore a 12 in other stores now wore an 8 at the Gap. Studies at the time had revealed that women allowed the number on their clothing tags to weigh heavily on their self esteem--the smaller the number, the better the woman felt about herself. So Gap rationalized that by cutting the clothes bigger and giving the woman a smaller size, she would shop more often at the Gap because she enjoyed the smaller number on the tag. Gap was one of the very first retailers to employ this gimmick, but it caught on quickly in the retail world and main stream retailers adjusted their sizes as well. A few years later, Gap added the size 0 (which is cut the same as the original size 6). Again, main stream retailers adjusted. Size 1, 00, and even 000 were added in following years, but were highly criticized and removed from most stores.

Krista - posted on 01/14/2012

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Jane's got it exactly right. A lot of retailers don't want to be viewed as "fat-girl" stores, so they won't stock anything higher than a 12. I've seen some stores that don't even go up into double-digit dress sizes. It's as though they seem to feel that if a larger girl is seen shopping there, that the rest of their customers will stay away in droves.



This is sort of intertwined with the whole modeling thing. As someone said downthread, the average dress size for American women is a 12-14. So you would THINK that designers and retailers would cater heavily to that demographic by a) showing clothes on women who are that size and b) going out of their way to make their clothes available in that size.



But instead, we have that whole psychological aspect of "aspirational imagery", where it turns out that a lot of people DON'T want to see people who look like them in the magazines. They want to see women who are thinner and prettier. It's all about fantasy, baby.



However, I don't know about you, but I don't know ANY women who fantasize about being a size zero. I certainly don't. I fantasize about being a size 10. I know plenty who fantasize about being fitter and trimmer and cellulite-free, but it seems that when it comes to modeling, we've gone past fantasy, veered left, and have landed squarely in Surrealville.



Personally, I just wish that we women could stop fighting amongst ourselves. I can embrace my size 16 curves without denigrating slender women. And slender women should be able to appreciate their own willowy forms without looking at my back fat and shuddering.



Have models gotten thinner? Compared to the "supers" of the 1980's, yes. But things go in cycles. The models of the 60's were pretty slender and then we had more "fit and athletic" body types in the 70's (paging Cheryl Tiegs), and the curvier "Glamazon" models in the 1980's (Cindy, Linda, Naomi et al). Kate Moss ushered in the waif look, and now we're all discombobulated. Some runway models are terrifyingly thin, but we always seem to have a few curvier girls who are touted as the next superstar who will change the industry...that is, until they lose weight too (ahem...Crystal Renn....).



I don't give a damn about models, really. Their bodies are their business. But it would be damned refreshing to see a VARIETY of body shapes and sizes in magazines and on runways, so that we can all see our own personal aspirational body shapes on there.

Jane - posted on 01/14/2012

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What the stores stock reflects size-ism. They would stock all sizes if they didn't view some sizes as being less desirable, even though more people wear those larger sizes.

Mrs. - posted on 01/14/2012

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So the problem is not calling a 14 up (or a 6 up according to the title of the post) a plus size? It is actually the availability of size 14 and up clothing?



Why is everyone saying thing like, "Well, I must be obese because I'm a 10" or going on about how you can be healthy at any size? I thought we were debating size-ism not what the stores stock?

Jane - posted on 01/14/2012

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The problem is that retailers, despite vast evidence to the contrary, do not like to stock plus sizes as they claim they don't sell as well. There is also less diversity in the styles of plus sizes, although it is better than when I was a child, when plus sizes came in Navy blue or Navy blue with white dots.

Mrs. - posted on 01/14/2012

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The industry sucks and all, but who cares if they call certain sizes plus size? It is their terminology and nothing magical happens to the clothing after size 14 that makes you fatter than you actually are. If you are happy with your body and feel you are healthy at a 14, 16 or 28...who cares what some guys in a design studio or marketers at some company want to call your blouse? It is just a name and it only matters if you think it does.

Tam - posted on 01/14/2012

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I'm 5'6", and I typically wear between a size 14 and 16, sometimes 18 depending on where I'm shopping. However, I range on the heavy side due to muscle and the main reason I wear the larger sizes is because of the curves that run in my family.



What can I say, I'm physically fit and wear 'plus' sizes. I really don't think the industry should baseline its sizing from women who don't actually represent the average. I think I read somewhere that average in America is about a size 14, but that was a while ago. Anyone know the actual fact? (I am being lazy and not looking it up since I need to go make breakfast.)

Mrs. - posted on 01/13/2012

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Yeah, my mom always goes between a 14 and a 16, she's in the US. Basically, she can sometimes get a 14 at the regular stores, but it isn't as common. She can, however, find 14 in the plus size stores.

Jane - posted on 01/13/2012

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Where I live, sizes 1 through 15 are in Juniors, sizes 2 through 18 are in Misses (or Missies), and the W and X sizes are in Women's (aka plus sizes). If you are fairly tall, as members of my family are, then wearing a 14, a 16 or even an 18 still means you are not fat at all. Of course the really tall members of our family have other clothing issues - my niece is 6'1" and my nephew is 6'5". Length becomes a major issue.



And Janice is the name of my daughter's car. My name is Jane.

Sherri - posted on 01/13/2012

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@Janice here 14 is plus size. You can buy 0-12 in the junior/ladies section and 14 on up you have to go to the plus size dept. I didn't make the rules didn't even say I agree with it. However, it is what it is.

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2012

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I wear a size 0-2, but I don't look thin- I look normal, because I'm 5'4". I also weigh a lot more than people think I should, because I lift weights.



When I was in college I bordered on a 6, the heaviest I've ever been, I wasn't working out, but man, if that's considered plus size...that's sad.



I probably could bench press those runway models, haha.

Jane - posted on 01/13/2012

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Over 18 is a plus size. The W (20W, 22W, etc.) sizes are plus sizes. The X sizes (2X, 3X) are plus sizes.



14 is NOT a plus size.

Sherri - posted on 01/13/2012

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Well although I do consider 14 a plus size. I don't feel that everyone that wears a 14 looks unhealthy or overweight.

Jane - posted on 01/13/2012

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These days I am a true plus size, but many eons ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I was 5'8" tall, 140 pounds, and wore a size 14. In what alternate reality is a size 14 a plus size?



And being fat is not the only thing that controls the size you wear. My daughter is 5'9" tall, 140 pounds, and wears a 6 or an 8. The difference between me at 140 an her at 140 is bone structure and body type. She is a runner, I am a swimmer. She has narrow hips and I have broad shoulders.

Sherri - posted on 01/13/2012

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Yup so not surprising in the model world. They all live such unhealthy lifestyles to remain that thin too.

[deleted account]

The fashion world is stupid. I wear a size 5 and I'm not even 100 pounds..... I am super short though.

Mrs. - posted on 01/12/2012

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Is that like 6 at The Gap or Banana Republic? Cause I'm a six (sometimes 4 in dresses) everywhere but there, in those stores I'm a 2. Vanity sizing is crazy there.



Plus, I'm not sure about claiming a blanket size is plus size is not a bit whacked. A woman who is 5'6 and a size 6 will be bigger looking than a woman who is 5'10 and a size six.



However, I don't really care how designers classify me, I'm not a model and I don't do fashion shows as long as I can find nice clothing that fits...who cares what they call it?



As an actor, I've had to become a bit numb to the fact that I am considered a "real woman" even though I wear a small in most regular stores. It has improved since the 90's though, when I first starting working/auditioning. Since actresses like Kate Winslet, Scarlett Johansson, Christina Hendricks and pretty much most of the women on any HBO show that is a period show/fantasy show. Women like that did not work in the beginning of the 90's when Ally McBeal's body type was the norm. I thank my lucky stars that the industry has morphed a bit. I think the fashion industry will too eventually, they just move a lot slower.

Janice - posted on 01/12/2012

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I think the fashion industry and the world need to be more accepting of all different sized people. Some women are naturally quite thin while others are naturally quite thick despite their caloric intake.



I am extremely tiny despite my diet of high calorie meals and sweets. Its just the way I am built. I HATE it sometimes. At 28 I'm stuck shopping in the juniors section, finding nothing I want to wear because I'm a 0-2 in misses clothes and most stores dont carry that size.

I'm sure women on the other end are quite frustrated too, stuck shopping in the plus size section with limited selection. If your 5'9 you could be a healthy weight and be a size 14!

Runway models now are on average like 5'10 and 110lbs! Thats nuts considering 110 is a healthy weight for someone around 5'2".

Women big and small need to be represented and the label "plus" isnt needed.

Merry - posted on 01/12/2012

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I'm thin and fit at a size 4-6 pant and a 4 dress size but I couldn't be a model! I'm only 5ft 4inches so my weight is compacted more and trust me I don't look like those models one bit!

I think size 4-10 is 'normal' depending on your height.

I don't think magazines do us any good by showing off these stick women.

When I see most models they remind me of how my mom looked as cancer killed her from the inside out.

Trust me, we don't need that to be our idea of beautiful!

Tracey - posted on 01/12/2012

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I'm big I'm healthy, my doctor has no concerns re my weight so I'm not bothered if an industry that makes clothes that would only look good on a skeleton doesn't like the way I look, the feeling is mutual.

April - posted on 01/12/2012

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now for the debate side: the fashion world says they are not advocating an unhealty lifestyle, but unspoken words are a lot more powerful. When a size 6 is sewn like a size 4 but with a 6 label, that can send a negative message to women and girls .

April - posted on 01/12/2012

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i must be considered morbidly obese in the fashion world because i am a size 10. i definitely feel the pressure to lose weight, but not because i want to look like a supermodel. It's more because my career as a mom makes me feel kind of ugly and fat. I have limited calories to 500 a day in my college days but I couldn't do that to my son. If something bad happened to me, he wouldn't have a mom. It's funny. The same reason I want to restrict is also the reason I don't restrict. It will always be in the back of my mind--a little voice saying , "Do it. You've done it before and you know you have the will power." I am generally a happy person, generally confident but once in a while I will contemplate extreme dieting. I am so ashamed that I can't even type starving. I have to use phrases like restricting calories and extreme dieting! I feel terrible about wanting to do this for myself when I have my son who loves me so much!

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