High street fashion needs more plus size models

Written by GemmHirst

Every woman deserves a pamper session once in a while, right? Well my mum and I went shopping for a few bits and pieces and came back with only bits. Why is this I hear you ask?

Every woman deserves a pamper session once in a while, right? Well my mum and I went shopping for a few bits and pieces and came back with only bits. Why is this I hear you ask? Well this is because a certain fashion store did not stock all of the full range of sizes.

Now my Mum (like all other glamorous Mums) maybe of a larger size and this certain store that I am talking about do stock all sizes. So naturally when we head into New Look we hope to find no problem in finding the correct size.

Selling with an assumption

I was proven wrong—we went to find my Mum a few items for work and well we struggled, which resulted in a failed shopping trip. Many of these high street shops that we visited failed to cater for all shapes and sizes of women, which I think is appealing. I question is there such thing now as a real woman?

I also work part time in a retail store that caters for all women, including size 18 and most of the time we do have the sizes in stock. If the items are not in stock then we may offer a delivery option.

When my mum and I visited New Look, many of the assistants did not offer this process.  It appeared to me that if you are not size 0 customers that looks like you have just come off the cat walk when you walk into the shops then you are ignored.

This very event happened to me—again my mum and I were having another bonding session in the mall. We went into John Lewis, passing through the perfume and make up counters and I noticed that the ladies completely ignored my mum and approached me with their free samples. Why does this sort of patronisation happen when I go shopping? There is so much snobbishness and prejudice when you go shopping that I feel it better to shop online.

At least that way you won’t endure the stab in the back from staff.

That’s if you can find your size online. Retail stores these days do not cater for all sizes—there are so many stigmas attached to the size of women and this idea of a skinny girl being the perfect girl.

More plus size models in high street fashion

No wonder there is such an issue with girls’ health these days if they are looking at retail adverts and their skinny models. Do you ever see a plus size model advertising high street fashion? I don’t think so.

I want to find out why that is and why the retail industry is not representing nor catering for the real women. They are more obsessed with the size 0 perfect girl.

Women of a shapelier figure need ambassadors to look up to. I did my research and found four top wonderful plus size models that put those petit models to shame.

Jennie Runk was a part of a Beachwear Campaign produced by H&M—she was the first plus size model for H&M and showed off their wonderful swimsuit range with her beautiful curves. She was given the option to lose weight and try to keep a size six or eight, or to maintain a size twelve or fourteen and start a career as a plus size model.

Robyn Lawley is best known for her cover shoot of Vogue Italia in the 2011 issue. She was the first plus size model to be shot for Australian Vogue. She has also been shot for other magazines around the world, such as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Elle France, so big up to those magazines for supporting the plus size model. I just wish the retail industry did the same.

Tara Lynn is best known for being on the cover of Elle France magazine. Not only was she on the cover but she was featured in 20 pages of that magazine that celebrated the idea of being a plus size model.

Velvet D’Amour is an American Plus size model, she is very outspoken advocate for plus size models. She has walked the catwalk for Jean Paul Gaultier, and also runs her own magazine called VOL. UP. 2, which is said to revel women’s everyday imperfections and celebrates their bodies in their glorious entirety.

Personally I think we need to see more plus side models representing high street fashion. We need more curves. If the everyday plus size lady sees a plus size model promoting the fact that they can wear a top from Miss Selfridge. They should not be afraid to shop into the likes of Jack Wills or Abercrombie and Fitch because of their size, thus the retailers need to play their part and make sure that their clothes are providing for the larger lady.

More welcoming equals more visits

I also think that some glossy and gossip magazines are also at fault for making the larger lady feel inferior. We often see images of the female celebrity on holiday wearing a bikini and the magazines will spot out the fact she has wobbly bits or bingo wings.

I can’t see what the matter with that is. I believe that you should be proud with what you have and if you are happy then that is all that matters.

So shake what your mother gave you and let it all hang out. I don’t think that the celebrity themselves will appreciate being photographed and printed all over the covers for the readers to see or even as the reader we appreciate seeing women being objectified and identified as fat because they have a bit of overhang. It does not make us as the readers feel better about themselves.

The more welcoming and accepting the fashion industry is to the world of larger women then the more likely they are to visit the stores. If anything catering for all sizes and shapes will not only benefit the retailer’s customer wise but financially they will benefit from the sales.

What do you think? What should the fashion industry be doing about the issue of sizes? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: Thomas Blomberg / Wikimedia Commons