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Tess Holliday is seemingly calling out a curvy fashion label for a campaign that’s not so plus-size.
On Monday, the #EffYourBeautyStandards creator tweeted a cryptic message which read, “Please use visibly plus-size models in campaigns and stop showing us the same damn body types.”
It’s unclear which company the model was targeting (Holliday did not return Yahoo Style’s request for comment), but earlier that day, Lane Bryant debuted its #TheNewSkinny campaign promoting the Super Stretch Skinny Jean and starring plus models Denise Bidot, Hunter McGrady, Philomena Kwao, and Bree Kish.
These four women are undoubtedly beautiful but Shatonia Amee, fashion director and wardrobe stylist for The Curvy Revolution magazine, says Kish and Bidot don’t represent the average plus-size woman. “These two models could likely find clothing at a mainstream store,” Amee tells Yahoo Style. “And that’s where the upset comes in — some women feel, ‘This is not our story.’”
The fashion industry is maturing when it comes to body diversity. Brands that have traditionally sold straight-sized clothing have expanded their sizing lines and many curvy models are A-list celebrities, posing with mainstream beauties and landing solo magazine covers.
But according to Amee, a new beauty ideal for the plus-size woman has emerged, that doesn’t always represent its intended audience: A small waist, big breasts, and curvy hips.
“There’s a misconception that plus women want to see clothes modeled on women they can aspire to,” she says. “But a proportionate, hour-glass shape isn’t always realistic — plus women want to know how the clothes will fit them, otherwise it brings more heartache to the customer.”
Part of the problem: The fashion world and the public define “plus-size” differently: models are considered plus at size 8/10, but the average woman is a size 14/16. And according to Amee, there’s a shortage of organically plus-size companies, leaving mainstream brands to flood the market with expanded sizes without the influence of actual plus designers.
“Some models are too big for straight sizing but too small for plus-sizing,” says Amee. “We call these women ‘plus-size,’ but that’s not always accurate since a true plus-size woman can’t walk into a regular store and find something to wear.”
While plus-sized models with perfectly-proportioned features are also beautiful, “they’re a safe choice,” says Amee, “and an example of what designers and the public are comfortable accepting.”
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