I was recently a two-page advertorial spread in Marie Claire magazine. When being fitted for my photo shoot, I was the largest girl by far. I didn’t fit many of the beautiful sample-sized clothes on the racks that the other girls could wear. I wasn’t frustrated by this. I didn’t feel like the fashion world owed me anything; I’ve stood in the fashion closets of multiple highly-regarded fashion editorials and haven’t felt slighted or like I have something to prove. I realize, and accept that as a fashion writer and fashion lover, that I’m considered a big girl in a skinny world. I’m fine with that, but don’t call me fat. I don’t want your label as crutch for talent, thank you.
In response to advertisers embracing curves, Larry D. Woodward, President and CEO of New York City’s Graham Stanley Advertising had this to say about the future of fashion:
ABC News: I predict that nothing that has gone on in the past matters. I can’t prove it but I believe the die is cast. Gen-Xers accepted body art, Millennials embrace it. More women behind the camera and in executive positions will result in a more accurate representation of the product and the buyer. Function and common sense will ultimately temper vanity enough to usher in a new standard for advertising. Models will still be beautiful and idealized but closer to the reality.
The bottom line: You can keep your fat; the rest of us, the real fashionistas, will take the fabulous and run with it. The fashion industry has enough negative stereotypes without throwing “fat” into the mix now, as well. Real, healthy-sized girls are a welcome change from the stick-thin is beautiful mentality. But don’t pollute the water with “fat is fabulous,” because you’d rather pick up a sleeve of Oreos than brush up on writing skills.
We’re entering a new consciousness in the fashion world; think of Steven Meisel’s recent Oil and Water photoshoot for Vogue Italia, Lea T, French Vogue’s transgendered model. Think Jean Paul Gaultier using Crystal Renn instead of an Abbey Lee Kershaw in his recent advertising campaign. We’re coming to a good place; a crossroads. And within this changing atmosphere, it will be incredibly insightful and telling to see what the Mercedes Benz runways will have to offer us this fall.
The fashion world is making strides; and embracing all different types of beauty. Let’s, for once, not exploit this.