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Plus Size or Our Size?


It’s the latest controversy between the fashion world and the “normal” world; the new ad campaign for Ralph Lauren featuring its plus size model, Robyn Lawley. At 6’2”, the Australian beauty is a size 12, which is plus size according to modeling standards. But, is this model plus size according to the rest of the population?

According to the Center of Disease Control, the average American woman is 5’4” and has a 37-inch waist.  A size 12 consists of a 30.5-inch waist, much smaller than the average girls of society. The average model is 5’11” and 117 pounds with a waist no more than 23-inches.

Although it is a relief to see a girl with some meat on her bones splashed across the pages of high fashion ad campaigns, is she really representing the world of plus size girls?

“The fashion world has created the presence of muscle and curves as an unappealing attribute,” Kara,a student at OK State said. “Models are skin and bones, and anything more than that puts you in the big girl category.”

Although there have been recent attempts to stop such standards, the pressures to be skinny are stronger than ever.  Victoria Secret, which once showcased curvaceous bombshells, is now casting much skinnier models.  Candice Swanepoel, one of the leading models for Victoria Secret, is 5’9” with a 23-inch waist. 

Bombshell is now what was once considered a waif figure. This begs the questions, who is right?  Is the fashion industry portraying an accurate representation of a plus size girl, and are we the people of society, the ones with the warped image? 

“Just watching the Victoria Secret Show consumes me with guilt for just eating ice cream,” Sara, an OK State student said. “Although, the statistics are there saying these girls are underweight and not normal, they are what we see and what we idealize as perfection and beauty.”

The attempt to support plus size girls may be present in the Ralph Lauren campaign, but it is difficult to get past the toned stomach and mile long legs of Lawley to actually consider her plus size.

As the fashion industry continues to make strides towards supporting women of all sizes, they still fall short in accurately portraying a plus-size girl.  The rest of the world understands size 12 is still below the average sized woman. Hopefully the fashion industry will realize this too.

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