The 21st Century View on Fashion

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By Melanie Jenkins on October 28th, 2014

Thin is beautiful in the fashion industry. Mainstream media often only portraits models who are a size four, or smaller. At the store, magazine articles boast titles such as How to get the perfect beach body or Top foods for a tight tummy. Even television commercials encourage women to fit into the ‘perfect’ size by only advertising clothing on young, fit women. While this maybe pleasing to the eye and helpful for advertising, the average American woman is a full, size 14, or as the fashion world likes to say: ‘plus sized.’

body-positiveCompanies such as Lane Bryant, Torrid and Young Clothing are moving away from the skinny norm, choosing models with thick sides over thigh gaps. Helping promote body positivity, these companies have helped spur confidence amongst their customers.

“I love it,” freshman Ashley Booth said. “I think it’s about time for plus sized women to get the positive attention that they deserve.”

Recently, popular songs, such as All About That Bass, by Meghan Trainor, and Anaconda, by Nicki Minaj, are spreading messages about body positivity. Where Minaj talks about women celebrating their curves, Trainor focuses on how self-appreciation should apply to all body types.

“I’m glad that plus sized people are getting more representation,” junior Natalie Whitehead said.

“Body positivity is very important to everyone, no matter what your weight.”

With plus size models in demand, and popular music icons celebrating thick thighs, it would make sense for clothing companies to take a hint and start offering a larger array of sizes. The fear is that by featuring fuller mannequins, people may start to idolize obesity.

“There’s a fine line between promoting positive body imagery and glorying obesity,” sophomore Mason Jenkins said. “I feel we should be promoting healthy lifestyles.”

The future for plus sized clothing and modeling is bright though. With companies like Free People and American Eagle launching campaigns featuring real girls, it won’t be long before size 16, and larger, models will be seen strutting down the runway.

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