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What Is Plus-Size?

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What is plus-size is the question we’re asking today. Do we need a definition? Is there such a thing? We’d argue both yes and no.

A topic of hot debate, the opinion on plus-size and who is considered to be so is divided. With the fashion industry stating that those size 12 and above are thought to be so, curvy models are fighting back, claiming that there shouldn’t be a distinction and that they’re simply models with a few more curves.

So do we need the label or is it an unnecessary distinction, aimed to target and criticise women’s bodies?

In the for camp, we have Tess Holliday, the size 22 model who made history earlier this year by becoming the biggest model to ever sign to a major modelling agency. Having spoken out about the term saying she doesn’t find it derogatory and that women considered to be plus-size should be proud of their curves, she’s even gone as far to say she finds the term empowering and that it’s simply just a word: “The term is never used in hate; it never has been used in hate. It’s an adjective. I am plus-size. It’s like getting mad that somebody calls me a redhead. I am a redhead.”

While we couldn’t agree with Tess more, it seems many models don’t and we have to say, we see their point too.

Australian model Stefania Ferrario is one model who wants to get rid of the term and has even gone as far as launching her own campaign #DropThePlus which saw her posing in only black underwear with the words I am a model scrawled across her stomach. Arguing that there is no need for us curvy girls to be thought of as different from our straight-sized peers, she makes a valid point in that there is no need to segregate women based on size or shape.

However the real issue isn’t the term itself, it’s more what it represents, with the fashion industry’s definition of plus becoming ever increasingly bigger whilst the window for straight sizes is only getting smaller. Just this week it was discovered that London based model agency BMA Models listed a petite size 8 model under their curves category, and while we hate to pass judgement on any woman’s body surely this can’t be considered to be plus?

Traditionally thought of as women who are a little more curvy than your average, instances like this make us realise that while we’re all women perhaps we do need the term to help distinguish one body shape from another. After all, what’s the difference between the terms athletic, curvy and pear-shaped? Nothing! They’re just words used to describe your body, nothing necessarily negative.

So are you for or against being called plus-size and what does the term mean to you? Let us know below!