Monday, July 19, 2010

Are They Serious? A Look at Haute Couture "Plus Size" Models

This is the image of upscale, designer 'plus sizes.' Are these people for real?

I was online at Neiman Marcus today, browsing their Last Call sale. I was looking at women's intimates and I saw an icon for "special sizes" and this model, who is quite pretty, popped up. Really? If she is plus size than I must be 'high as a kite' or something. There is no way this model properly and accurately represents plus size women! I am no where near as tall as this model (I am 5'3) but my body type looks similar to this and I wear a 4! I cannot stand it when haute couture markets seek to distort the image of women. Moreover, the models in their 'standard sizes' look so emaciated, it's scary. Like I stated in a post a while back, even companies like Stop Staring are getting on the super-skinny bandwagon.

I am honestly getting sick and tired of fashion's obsession with distorted body types. If one is naturally thin like my mom and sister, I totally understand but when designers go out of their way to select models that look that walking coat hangers, that is another. I think all body types are fine, as long as we are healthy!

As for the plus size models looking like smaller, average women; this is not an honest representation of curvy girls!

Also, what would modern designers think of women like this? I bet they would call her "fat" and then photoshop her!

What do you girls think?


  1. I think they are all on crack to say she is "Plus Size." I know that "Plus Size" is supposed to be a size 12 or more, but that woman, even if she is 5'10" can't be larger than a size 8.

  2. I do want to add that sizing has changed in the last 50 years, DRASTICALLY. A size 12 then is a size 6 or 8 now. A size 18 then is a 14 now. Can we talk about how clothes today are not made for women who have hips? I have not found a modern made skirt or dress that fits my waist. They are always too big for my waist or too tight for my hips. I have no problems with things fitting my waist in vintage clothing. I know I am not the only person who has this problem!

  3. no secret that the fashion world is horrid when it comes to what a woman's body "should" look like.Sorry but 5 foot and 11 inches should weigh much more than 110 pounds!Its NOT a healthy BMI.That "plus size" model looks like a normal model,what because her thighs touch she's considered plus size?!I don't get it.She looks healthy.

  4. So glad you did mention that if someone is naturally skinny and healthy it's all good. A lot of people tend to gloss over that!
    But it's just ridiculous. That's all I have to say, really. She's not plus sized at all. AND she's still very toned so not really representative of your 'everyday' woman (though I know some do a lot of exercise and are therefore toned but...I think you know what I mean.)
    -Andi x

  5. Kim Bombshell,

    I totally agree! Today's sizes reflect designer's need to sell clothing. If the same size skirt in one brand is an 8 and another is a 10, most will buy the 8 because many women feel the number is more important. We are a size-obsessed society and clothing makers know this. As a result, the numbers on labels get lower and lower and the sizing is now all messed up. Like you said, vintage sizes are so different!

    I also have the same problem with modern clothing,especially skirts and pants! Women are not 'tube-shaped!' Most skirts are huge in the waist and tighter or 'just right' on my thighs and bum. Same for pants. But vintage items, especially dresses, fit me so well. In the 40s and 50s, a smaller waist and curvy hips were the ideal. Now, it is all angular and when I go shopping for a pencil skirt, I find myself very frustrated. I have to tailor everything!

  6. Art Deco Dame,

    I agree that the model looks healthy. Being 100-110 at 5'10 is indeed crazy but it is the "industry standard." I am 5'3 and weigh 126-127 and if I was 110, I would be at the lower end of the healthy weight range from my body frame and height!

    I would love to know that the haute couture houses call "plus size." Talk about insane!

  7. Andi,

    My mom and sister have always been skinny and they are fine. My dad has always been lean too. I, however, was a skinny kid, then a chubby adult, and now I am a healthy 126-127 lb 35 year old. I have been on both sides of the spectrum and now I have found a very happy medium. I am an avid runner and yoga student. I only eat fish and tons of fruits and veggies. Sure, I treat myself, but I do so smartly. I am happy and healthy and that is all that matters. We all come in many shapes and we should embrace our bodies and healthy living.

    But, when I hear girls who want to be 95 pounds and they are in their 20s, that is scary. I in at a Victoria's Secret a while back and I overheard some college girls talking about how "cool it would be to be under 100 pounds." Wow.

  8. OMG....SERIOUSLY???
    Confession time: Before I hit 40, I ate everything and anything and stayed under 120 without trying. I was a natural twig, all straight, mosquito bites for boobs...I didn't excersise other than chasing three kiddos around (and occasionally the hubby!).
    Then I had heart surgery and I am tellin' ya, they slipped me some "gain-some-weight" stuff and now I am 136 and I cannot eat all I want and keep off punds, so now I eat like a French woman...French women don't get fat, good book....but all that to say this:
    I've never been frazzled by either body type, it just is (was) what it is (was).
    But I confess, having a waist, hips and a bit more boobs are rather sexy and hubby things so too!
    I did notice the waist/hip thingy with vintage patterns...they fit a body, why is that so difficult for designers/"fashion police"/stylists to get through their heads? Don't they enjoy life???

  9. Honey Bee,

    I can totally relate! When I was younger, I ate like crazy and did not gain a pound until I was about 20-21. I was 19 when I met my husband and I weighed about 115 pounds. I was married at 21 and when I went to my doctor for a yearly visit, I was 137 and every year, the weight creeped up. When I turned 30, I was 155 and I told myself that I was done with gaining more. I lost 33 pounds after 8-9 months and I have pretty much kept it off for almost 5 years. I am at a good, healthy weight. But, I have to admit that sometimes I am tempted to lose more again. But I realize that is silly. I just want to run a marathon one day and not focus on what the scale says.

    I also agree that there is an element of one is better for what they do not do instead of what they should do. For example, a lot of people in society praise painfully thin models who obviously got there by not eating or not exercising. They better because they "suffered" for it. How about praising people for being good, doing charity, and being compassionate and thoughtful?! I think most designers do focus on their work but Vogue, Anna Wintour, etc seem hellbent on pushing this crazy-thin image because it makes them feel superior.