Anna Louca

Plus Fashion Statement: Let Us Be

Plus fashion is growing up and perhaps moving into the mainstream. It’s inevitable. In a world where roughly 75 percent of the population is living at a high BMI, fashion that focuses only on stick-thin models can’t survive. But growing up is hard.

So plus fashion is in its awkward phase, as Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan points out:

Fashion, by its nature, reaches for extremes. As a result, it has always made size inclusivity so much more of an event than it ever needed to be. It has politicized, weaponized and fetishized fat. Now, as waiflike models are replaced with Rubenesque ones, can plus-size fashion be freed from the burdens of identity politics and cultural prejudices — to simply exist as clothes and not statements? When will a plus-size model get to stop representing diversity and simply be part of the pack? Does every plus-size model really slay?

If you doubt that plus fashion is in a bad place, consider this tidbit. Gwyneth Paltrow is now peddling a “size inclusive” fashion line. She says it’s a natural extension of her Goop brand, helping women make choices to make themselves feel good.

Let It Pass

Maybe plus fashion will outlive its usefulness. Because as long as we have plus fashion, it’s pretty clear that we’re sorting and valuing people according to their size.

Here’s a modest proposal. Could fashion simply reflect and respect normal human diversity without congratulating itself?

Click here to read more from the Washington Post and here for more from Vogue.

Anna Louca, photograph © Demetri Parides / flickr

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December 1, 2018