Plus Sized Padding

In the fashion industry, plus size models are on the rise. From Ashley Graham to Tara Lynn, curvy women have been landing major magazine covers, runway shows, commercials, and many other modeling gigs. Magazines like Vogue have even featured plus size models on their cover. Some brands, like Aerie, are doing away with photoshop on their models and adding models to their ads that are closer to the depiction of the average woman, while other brands such as Asos and Forever 21 are creating a whole plus size section to their brands that include revamped articles from their regular selection and whole new pieces made just for the extended sizes. Women all over the world find it exhilarating that more than one body shape is becoming represented in the media. But is this actually true? Yes, it is true that women that have curves are being represented, but, as always, the fashion industry is not being totally honest.

Most plus size models are doing photo shoots in clothing that is made for women that are a US size 14 or above, but most of the models are only a size 10 or 12. In order to obtain the body shape and size the clothing is intended for, the models wear specially made padding to enhance certain features on their body. The most popular types of padding are for the butt and hip area, but it is also common for women to enhance their breasts, stomach area, and thighs as well. Models purchase the “fat pads” as sets for the whole body along with spandex to hold all of them in place, all wrapped up in a little black reusable bag. Plus size models reveal that they’re a necessity to keep with them on a long day of photoshoots. When trying on up to hundreds of different outfits in the day they are able to interchange, replace and remove, or add more padding when it is necessary.

Although it is great that it seems as if all women are being represented equally in fashion and the media now, it is not actually so. Most plus size models that are backed by large companies and well known high end brands are not actually the size of the average woman nor do they represent the average body shape. This gives the message that large brands still do not believe in women that are a size 14 or 16. The Plus size clothes are made for women with tiny waists and large hips and butts. Most people are not born with the Kim Kardashian physique that the media is portraying as normal. This is creating a new ideal body for plus size women. They feel as if they are to be accepted as plus size they need huge boobs and butts and a small waist. Females that are finding out about this false advertising are disappointed and upset, still feeling excluded and ashamed of their bodies. If the fashion industry doesn’t find bigger women worthy of representing their brand, then the world as a whole still does not see those women as fit to be equal in society.

Body shape is not a fashion statement, it is something we’re born with and shouldn’t have to change to fit society's mold. Plus size models all around the world are hoping to do away with the padding and only model clothing that represents and accentuates their personal body shape. If clothing does not fit one model another model can be found to model that clothing. This will show women what the clothing is actually intended to look like on the body and it will force brands to create clothing that are made to fit all different body shapes.