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After attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival last week, I fully expected to be extolling the virtues of Spring's upcoming trends today, but honestly, something's interesting (or troubling) me more: the weight debate surrounding the shows.
The use of plus-sized models in Myer’s ‘Big Is Beautiful' collection, a thirty-minute sartorial extravaganza featuring key pieces in sizes 16-24, has caused a tremendous stir worldwide. Yes! You’re reading correctly! Selecting plus-sized models to showcase plus-sized clothing has sparked controversy! (Because heck, why should a size 18 woman be seen on a runway in a garment designed for a - wait for it - size 18 woman?! Who knows, but apparently she shouldn’t be!)
''Big can be beautiful but fat should not be in fashion. The models were gorgeous, the clothes were unremarkable and the message about health was dangerous,’’ wrote Damien Woolnough of The Australian. ‘’Models have always been thin and tall because clothes look better on them. Women of all sizes are savvy enough to draw inspiration on how to dress from healthy, thin models.’’
The ''plus-sized'' models - one of which was a size 12 - at Myer's 'Big Is Beautiful' show.
The ''regular'' models at Saturday's 'Review Of Australian Fashion Week' show.
Firstly, GOODNESS. What a muppet I must be! I mean, here I was thinking that the entire point of the event (and the clothing manufacturing industry itself) was to sell items to consumers! How foolish then of any company to give their paying customers a realistic glimpse of how a piece might actually work for their figures! (My apologies for the sarcasm, but sheeeesh!)
Secondly, ‘’clothes look better on thin and tall models’’? Hmmm. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, my friend, and personally, there’s nothing remotely inspiring or ‘’aspirational’’ about viewing a dress on a shape I know that I’ll simply never be.
... to ''regular-sized'' again. Why do we have such extremes?
Finally, a person’s size is not necessarily representative of their personal health. (‘’Women of all sizes are savvy enough to draw inspiration on how to dress from healthy, thin models.’’) Mildly challenging the plus-sized girls' claims that they ''took care of their appearance'', Georgina Safe of The Sydney Morning Herald made a point of mentioning that one of the models joked about not worrying whether or not she should eat a cream puff ahead of her performance. For the record, I’m not the slightest bit interested in shaming ANYONE’S lifestyle choices (if there’s any kind of Frock & Roll credo, it’s live your own darn life!), but should I divulge how many ''regular'' models I spotted smoking after the ‘A Review Of Australian Fashion Week’ show? That isn’t healthy!
Incorporating plus-sized women onto the catwalk isn't about glorifying obesity (does anyone else find it confusing that ''fashion models should not be confused with role models'' appears alongside ''obese models send an irresponsible message'' in the same article?); it's about acknowledging that they exist, and that they deserve to feel beautiful, too. (And they do! Everyone does!)
It's bizarre that in a field totally dependent on the successful sales of their merchandise, so many big-name brands still seem reluctant to reflect the very people handing over their cash.
What do YOU think of Myer's decision to enlist plus-sized women to display their plus-sized wares, and what (or who) would you like to see on the runway?