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The Rise of Plus-Sized Models in the Fashion Industry

The use of plus sized models has increased, but how representative is the fashion industry?

In recent years, the fashion industry has undergone a significant transformation. By embracing diversity and inclusivity. In particular, this change has been noticeable with the emergence and rise of plus-sized models.

The use of plus sized models is found to positively impact people’s mental health. A 2017 study using 49 college women who struggle with body satisfaction, found that they had a greater positive reaction looking at plus size models than thinner models. This suggests the positive effect the representation of plus sized models has on the wider population. Many may believe that plus sized models will not be as popular as the standard slim figured models, however this is very untrue. A good way to measure the popularity of someone today is to look at their social media presence. Studies have shown there is no significant difference between the average likes per post, comments per post and total posts between the top mainstream models and top plus-sized models.

How ‘plus-sized’ are plus-sized models?

As a general rule, many fashion companies state that a plus sized model is any model over a UK size 6, with most companies using plus sized models at a size 12 or 14. However, the average size within the UK is found to be a size 16. This leads to the question if plus-sized models are actually the average and if so why is it considered so niche. Furthermore, lots of popular clothing brands only sell sizes 4 to 16 in stores and ask people who wear a larger size to shop online. This is extremely unnerving as 45% of British women are of size 16 or higher. By forcing a large majority of women to be unable to buy clothes that fit them can make them lack self confidence and feel out of place. A change must be done to improve the inclusivity of different sizes in both models and clothing available within the fashion industry.

In conclusion, the fashion industry has experienced a significant shift towards diversity and inclusivity in recent years, prominently seen through the emergence and success of plus-sized models. Despite this progress, there remains a disparity between the representation of plus-sized models and the average size of women in the UK. This discrepancy raises important questions about inclusivity and the accessibility of clothing for a large percentage of the population. To enhance the fashion industry's inclusiveness, it is crucial to expand the range of sizes in both models and available clothing to further inclusivity and representation.


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