For pretty much all of fashion’s history, plus size fashion was a third or fourth thought—or not a thought at all. It wasn’t until this past decade or so that plus size fashion was allowed to be for a demographic other than women over the age of forty-five. Places like ASOS, Target and Forever 21 now offer a wide array of amazing pieces for plus size customers with all different styles. Obviously, sizing is still a nightmare because the kinks of mainstream plus size fashion have not been worked out yet. Another large problem are the models they choose to advertise their clothes. Ashley Graham, who has the classic coke bottle shape and a relatively flat tummy, is the only recognizable name in plus size modeling and her body type becomes the only body type. This is damaging to the rest of the plus size communities and the other models trying to break into the business that are not as main stream as Graham.
Over the past year, “thicc” has become a new brand within itself. On social media it is praised when a girl has a big butt, boobs, or thighs, and that trend is reflected in the models that are hired for plus size fashion. However, that is not the only mold for plus size men and women. Time after time, “thicc” models have all of the desired junk in all of the desired trunks but you will not find one iota of cellulite out of place. Stomach fat? The fashion industry does not know her. It is incredibly harmful to see your supposed demographic only portrayed in one acceptable manor. It sends the message to an already scrutinized community that you can be plus size, but only in a way that is sexualized by the general public. It is completely the norm for fat to naturally to collect in the mid section of a person’s body, but when it is impossible to see yourself represented in a community that it supposed to be your own, it feels everything but natural.
If it is so easy for us to fetishize “thicc” then it should be just as easy to end the shaming of those who break the “thicc” mold by having fat in places that is not deemed societally attractive. If we start this cycle by finding models of all different body types within the subset of plus size modeling, then it would encourage the public to see that beauty is within every body. Every body is a good body. There is no right or wrong way to simply exist physically, and it’s time that the fashion industry starts demonstrating that. This plus size fashion industry that they have decided is enough—simply isn’t. It’s time for better.