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Tim Gunn: An End to Fashion Standards

What do you say when you’re sick of all our current beauty standards that say skinny is better? All hail Tim Gunn, a sudden major advocate of the unfair discrepancies and biases present in the current world of American fashion. The idea is nothing new; for years now, beauty standards have promoted size 0’s and 2’s as the most appealing size and shape for women around the world. Unreachable concepts about beauty have been set, and fashion designers have consistently promoted the idealized standards through choosing models with a specific “look”, designing clothes targeted to fit skinnier women better, and blatantly speaking out against curvier women.

Famous design educator and co-host of “Project Runway” Tim Gunn is sick of the unfair conundrum of fashion. In a recent Washington Post article, he uncovered the cruel truths behind the complicated fashion world. A recent study uncovered that the average size of American women lies between 12 and 16, yet fashion designers continuously design, favor, and promote women who only wear under a size 12. For years now, women have been demanding answers. Why do fashion designers ignore the desperate pleas of 12+ size women to make clothing that makes them look good? Why is it that fashion campaigns typically feature less than 10% of plus size women? Why are clothes designed to look great on skinnier women, yet frumpy and unattractive on women size 12+? Women are forced to feel uncomfortable and ashamed of shopping for clothes they are never even given the chance to feel beautiful in.

Nobody, not even the fabulous Tim Gunn, can answer these questions. American designers have turned their back on plus size women and refuse to acknowledge their innocent inquiries. Some companies have even unkindly spoken out about the issue. Abercrombie and Fitch – which is run by Mike Jeffries, who claimed, “we go after the attractive, all-American kid” – sold nothing under a size 10 for a period of time. Companies don’t want to see curvier women on the runway, don’t want to take on the “challenge” that a curvier woman’s body presents.

The issue has placed the blame on the women, making them feel ashamed or wrong for not looking as the world expects them too. But, the real issue lies within the designers. The purpose of design is to create a balance of correct seams, fabrics, and proportions to make individuals feel and look comfortable. When sizes go up, designers must readjust the perfect proportions; not simply make them larger. The answer is clear and simple, but the fashion world is so engrained in its traditional ways that change seems like an impossible feat.

What can we possibly do to change this profound issue that involves so much more than just an overnight solution? We can make people aware of the issue. We can refuse to support companies that do not acknowledge the problem at the root of their designs. We can be accepting of all shapes and sizes and colors and genders and all of those things that our world heartlessly discriminates against for no reason. And, above all, we can spread Tim Gunn’s message and help him change the world in a positive and beautiful way.

Want to read more? Check out the article here. We love you, Tim Gunn.


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