What Is Plus Size? PLUS Model Magazine’s January 2014 Issue Bridging The PLUS Divide

What is ‘Plus Size’?


As PLUS Model Magazine continues to grow, more and more people are asking us the question. What is ‘Plus Size’?

In the fashion industry, plus size clothing begins at a size 12.

Of course, when you see a woman that wears a size 12 you are not thinking PLUS SIZE, but the fashion industry is ‘not’ also inclusive of her all the time.

The HOT TOPIC in 2013 was model sizes. I’m a size 22/24 woman and I find it VERY difficult to shop online because most of the models are very small. Years ago when I started my career in this industry there were models size 18 on the cover of catalogs and being seen in campaigns.

Scan 2Scan

As the brands continue to compete for our dollars and mainstream acceptance, they have been hiring and asking the modeling agencies for smaller and smaller models. There are brands that do not use plus size models at all and occasionally will use a size 10 or 12.

We do not understand why an industry that is based around selling to plus size women refuses to be SEEN as such. There may be people inside of these companies that love, and are passionate about selling to the plus size woman, but if what we are seeing is not speaking to the customer, then why do it?

In a survey taken by PLUS Model Magazine in 2010 the customers spoke out.

  • 1,722 women took the survey
  • 91.3% of women said they would like to see models larger than size 12 in plus size advertisements and campaigns.
  • 94.8% of women said they did not consider size 6, 8 and 10 models to be representative of the plus size market.
  • 64.5% of women said the size of the model affects the way they shop.

Check out all the results here

If you are a brand or designer offering plus size clothing, you should be proud of that and cater to your customer and stop being so scared of being seen as different, we are not.

So what is plus-size? Plus size is relative to each individual. You can be a size 12, 16, 24 or 32 and we are all plus-size and that is perfectly okay. To the size 12 customers who cannot buy off the rack at their favorite boutique, they ARE plus size. If you are the size 22 woman who has to visit the 7th floor of her local department store, she is plus-size. No one knows what it’s like to be plus-size, unless you are a plus size woman living in today’s society.

The reason we put this issue together was to Bridge The PLUS Divide. Let’s stop the hate between the smaller plus size women and the bigger plus size women. We are all in this together and if we do not focus on those things that matter, we will not have an industry to talk about at all.

We hope you enjoy the January 2014 Issue of PLUS Model Magazine going LIVE on 1st.



  1. says

    Plus, to me, is relative. If you’re 6′ tall and a size 12, you’re most definitely NOT plus sized. However, proportionately speaking, a 4’10″ woman in a size 12 probably is. That’s why I have issues with the anti-size zero contingent. Being 5′ tall and size 0 is NOT the same as being model height and the same size. Besides, slapping size 6 on what we call size 0 will do NOTHING.

  2. Angela C. says

    This is very true! Th gap must be bridged as it causes division even within the plus community. I still believe the saying united we stand and divided we fall. In the plus community regardless of what the industry says, I believe it is our responsibility to serve and conquer. For now we must work with what we have and create our own platforms to be heard. If we can’t get in their groups, we’ll just start our own. We need to reclaim out power and stop falling prey to America’s ridiculous standards!

  3. says

    I always find it interesting that when people write an article titled ‘What is plus size?’, they never answer the question.

    It’s actually easy to define. Plus size is a term created by the fashion industry given to describe clothing designed for larger people, and that sector of business. That’s ALL. It’s only when people started using it as a description for the bodies underneath as well that it all got messed up. Plus size is not a term from the fields of psychology, anthropology or sociology or any of the other humanities to describe a community of people, or a code of ethics, or philosophy or morality. It’s not a way of life. It doesn’t dictate how you raise your children, how much money you can save each pay check, or who you vote for or whether you don’t like Beyonce’s last album. Why do people attach so much more importance and power to this phrase than it deserves? That’s what I think is worth talking about.

    I wrote a bit more about all of this on my site, here: – not everyone will agree with me but that’s okay. As Maddie said, it is an individual thing.

  4. says

    I actually mentioned this last night to my friend. Plus size is relatively new, when discribing clothes. The regular size 13/14 is discribed as Junior and to distinguish the larger 14/16 they named it Womens department. This is still the norm but Plus size is used now also, and they even have a Junior Plus size in some departments.

    I think the controversey is this, that Plus Size Modeling, is not Size Acceptance. Just because a company makes size 24 or 32 doesnt mean they want that size representing their clothes to the world. Even though I have a nice face and im proportinate, at a tight size 22 I have a long way to go to get to the weight, to start to pursue my plus size modeling career.

    Most people promote positive body images, and to love your body, but have a goal ro achieve Healthy curves.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>