It is considered impolite to ask a woman her dress size, unless of course you work in a clothing store. It is also considered impolite to assume someone is plus size. As someone who is plus size I find it more offensize and impolite for people to act offended by the term plus size as if someone said “you have cooties”.
If you do any amount of shopping you know that every brand and retailer have their own sizing system and while some shops have similar sizing there is no exact match. In the last ten years or so with the influx in the popularity of full-figure models there has been even more confusion on what is plus size and what is not.
Plus Size Does Not Mean Fat
“She doesn’t look ‘plus size’,” says a woman looking at a magazine. Plus size includes a range of sizes just like regular sizes includes a range of sizes. Generally from a retail standpoint it used to be size 14 to size 24. Over the last five years more and more retailers aand brands have realized that size doesn’t stop at 24 and offer extended sizes. Some shops offer up to 28, some offer up to 32, and some offer up to 44. Plus size does not necessarily mean fat but it can. One woman can not be the representation of a full size range but being grouped in with all these sizes does not make someone a leper either.
Part of the confusion has been the use of full-figure models to showcase plus size clothing. Full-figure models are larger than the mainstream size “0″ models but they usually did not fall into the plus size clothing range. Most were size 4 to 10. A very select few were a size 12.
Along the way the lines got blurred and people who were excited to see fuller figured women showing off their clothes just called them plus size models — they were wearing plus size clothes after all. But it wasn’t an accurate depiction. This continued and of course sparked debate about what plus size models look like and how it was a travesty to call these women plus size (again, with the assumption that being called plus size is the worse thing possible).
Today’s Plus Size Model
This has all been a necessary process to bring us today’s model. While some brands still insist on using regular and full-figure models instead of plus size models the industry for plus size models who have plus size bodies is gaining ground. While typically size 14-16-18 are the top models in the fashion industry there are popular models making a living in sizes 22-24-26-28.
Does Size Classification Matter to You?
Does size classification matter to you? What do you think the size ranges should be and why? And does it really matter?