Plus-Sized Personality Pt. 7: Making it Work [for Plus-Sized Women] - A Reaction to Tim Gunn's Video

Recently, Tim Gunn had a video shown on PBS Newshour about how the fashion industry has left Plus-Sized Women behind. He talks about a lot, from how the modeling agencies don’t pick thick women to walk for them to how retailers can deny designers selling space if they don’t start providing for plus-sized women.

And I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve been saying this whole time that Plus-Sized women aren’t any less normal than the super-thin supermodels of the fashion world (in fact, I’ve been proving it through this series). I love who I am, and I’ve constantly said that it’s about time that others start to recognize my body for all it’s worth, too.

I’m just a little sad that it’s taken this long for Tim Gunn to say something about it.

In an interview in September with NPR, Tim Gunn addressed the same issue that he did the other day in his video. Sure, making videos takes a lot of work and time (video editing is a real thing, people), but he also had from the time that Project Runway’s first-ever Plus-Size winner debuted her competing line at the end of last season till now to make a statement about this. I would like to point out the fact that Ashley Nell Tipton, the winner of that season, was critisized by Gunn in his essay that he wrote for the Washington Post for her lack of finesse and expertise with her clothing -- and I do agree with him there. While I of course wanted her to win because it was about damn time a Plus-Size contestant won something on the show that has Heidi-frikkin-Klum as its host, I did think her clothes were quite juvenile and not something that an everyday woman would wear. 

I still love Tim Gunn, don’t get me wrong. His level of sass intermixed with his attention and caring towards the contestants he mentors continues beyond the show. He provided a plethora of reasons and examples of the ways that Plus-Sized women have been treated horribly by the fashion industry, and I commend him for doing this. Everything he talks about, from the darts to the shoulder pads, I am 100% in agreement with.

After all, Plus-Sized women don’t usually see advocates for fair treatment except for other Plus-Sized celebrities.

When comedian and awesome-person Melissa McCarthy came out with her Plus-Sized line (which she never actually said was Plus-Sized but we all know that a majority of it was), she mentioned in an interview with People Magazine that she was chastised for having designs with sleeves -- “I was told that ‘Plus-Sized women don’t want sleeves in any capacity””-- and even though her designs had sleeves, her line was equally as expensive as specialty stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid, not necessarily making the average Plus-Sized woman (aka me) feel good about her splurges.

Gunn mentions in the video about how Plus-Sized women are the new norm in America, but yet we’re still pressed to feel like less because we have no options. And, the ones we do have, are often perpetuating the idea that we don’t deserve to dress well -- I mean, I get that I like chocolate and sweets, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to slay my presentation looking awesome.

My only hope is, that by Tim Gunn -- a man who is considered a master stylist throughout the world -- making multiple statements about how Plus-Sized women deserve to be treated fairly in the eyes of design and marketing, we can start to see a new wave of clothing options. As he says at the end of the video, “Designers: Make it Work.”

If you’d like to view the video that Tim Gunn made for PBS Newshour, watch it here.