By, Victoria Finley
A known problem that we have in the fashion and advertising industry is the misrepresentation and bias of body types and sizes that are used to display fashion. Advertising is meant to represent societal norms. Instead fashion and advertising tends to represent two extremes, it seems that America is one of the few countries that has a problem with eating disorders and obesity. The average American woman according to The CDC the average woman over the age of twenty is about 5’3” (63.8in) and weighs about 166.2 pounds. Of course weight is going to look different on each woman depending on their body type as shown in the image below.
Yet these are not sizes that are represented in fashion or advertising. According to an article from abc.news titled, Fashion Models: By the Numbers by Lauren Effron states that women that involved in high fashion modeling for brands like Channel and Gucci must be between 5’9-6ft tall and weigh between 110-130 pounds. Also even though plus size clothing start at about size 16, according to an article titled Is This What a Plus-Size Model Should Look Like? By Laura Beck, “In the fashion industry, “plus size” is a term for models who are size 8 and up. But in the real world, most people would never think of a size 8 as plus size”. There was a lot of negative feedback from Ralph Laurens first plus size model Robyn Lawley who is 6’2”, size 12 and 23 years old, featured below. Now there is a huge difference between plus size model Robyn Lawley and plus size model Tess Holliday who is 5’5”, size 22 and 30 years old.
So why are they both considered plus size models? It seems that every woman whose above size 8 is seen as plus size even though healthyhorns.utexas.edu states that the average American size woman is between 12 and 14. So why do we keep refereeing to woman who are the average size and smaller as plus size. The term
plus size comes with negative connotations, the models that are used that are size 4 and below aren’t referred to as super skinny models they’re just called models, so why are we giving plus size models a specific name. The fashion industry basically leaves any woman who’s between size 6-10 unrepresented or misrepresented.
“Body Measurements.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 02 Nov. 2012. Web. Apr. 2016. <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm>.
Effron, Lauren. “Fashion Models: By the Numbers.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 19 Sept. 2011. Web. Apr. 2016. <http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2011/09/fashion-models-by-the-numbers/>.”Body Measurements.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 02 Nov. 2012. Web. Apr. 2016. <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm>.
“Body Image.” Body Image. The University of Texas in Austin, n.d. Web. Apr. 2016. <http://www.healthyhorns.utexas.edu/n_bodyimage.html>.
Person, Laura Beck, http://www.cosmopolitan.com/author/1273/laura-beck/, and http://d3cdsjlahqfkbd.cloudfront.net/1273/photo_1415718681.png. “Is This What a Plus-Size Model Should Look Like?” Cosmopolitan. N.p., 11 Jan. 2014. Web. Apr. 2016. <http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/news/a18375/plus-sized-models/>.