PLUS Model Magazine Sound Off: Is Size 12 Plus Size?

PLUS Model Magazine Sound Off: Is Size 12 Plus Size?

We recently reported that Spanish retailer Mango launched their plus size line called Violeta this week. There are reports that the launch has sparked uproar in Europe where many took to Twitter to voice their outrage at Mango starting their plus size line at a size 12. The consensus is that Mango is implying that anything above a size 10 is ‘big’ and that they are alienating plus size women by offering those women a separate line while stigmatizing those who are smaller.

Mango Violeta launch1

While the new Violeta line has been praised by many in the European fashion community as well as the Spanish government, Spanish customers are calling for Mango to remove the line from its business. British shoppers used Twitter to vent their dislike of the line and accused Mango of encouraging eating disorders.

Let’s look at this for a moment here. In the U.S., Ashley Stewart starts at a size 12 and Evans starts at a 10 (which translates to a UK size 14). Retailer Simply Be states that it starts at size 10 but they offer size 8 in many items and they’re a UK-based company! A size 8 in the U.S. is a size 12 in the UK. So even with the size conversion, Simply Be is still offering a size 12 and they’re a plus size retailer.

Simply Be screen shot - sound offWhich brings us to ask the question… why all the outrage and criticism for Mango? If British shoppers have such an issue with Mango starting their Violeta line at a size 12, then why haven’t they made the same complaints to Simply Be?

And in the U.S., while we are publicly talking about size diversity in the modeling industry, eating disorders and inconsistent clothes sizing, we have not heard shoppers complaining about Ashley Stewart starting at a size 12.

Ashley Stewart screenshot sound off

Further to that, as we have discussed many times on this blog and in our magazine, retailers use models that are sizes 8, 10 and 12, to market plus size clothing in ads and on their websites. This practice is not unique to the U.S. and is one seen in other countries.

So, we are back to the same question that we asked in our latest issue at the start of this year… What is plus size?

A spokesperson for Mango said:

“In view of the controversy surrounding the launch of Violeta by MANGO, the company would like to reiterate that Violeta by MANGO is a new brand within the group which was created to cover an existing demand in the market by offering a fashion collection in sizes that extend up to 24. What differentiates said brand is the attention to technical details, pattern to pattern and size to size, and the selection of garment materials and fabrics, which have been produced to be more comfortable, feminine and modern. The key characteristic of this line is the personalisation of the collection to a new target market, the result of painstaking work and effort on the silhouette and pattern of each size.”

On the other side of this argument, many plus size women would argue that they can’t just shop “anywhere” like their thinner counterparts. So when a non-plus size retailer launches a plus size line, it is something that is celebrated. Plus size women don’t feel excluded. They can shop for fashionable clothing and be stylish at their size. The argument here is that plus size women already feel alienated when a retailer doesn’t offer their size and NOT when a retailer launches a separate plus size clothing line.

In this latest PMM Sound Off, we want to know what you think. Do you have an issue with size 12 being considered plus size? Would you boycott a retailer if they started their plus sizes at a size 12? Do you think Mango is encouraging eating disorders and alienating plus size women by launching a clothing line geared towards them? Sound off below by leaving us a comment and letting us know what YOU think.

Comments

  1. Valery says

    Thank you Marcy for continuing this conversation about model size… I think that as consumers we are FINALLY starting to be heard concerning this and can help to make some change in the industry… THANK YOU!

  2. says

    I don’t think a size 12 is plus size on everyone. I think it depends on the person’s height, and more importantly, it depends on the designer’s measurements for a size 12. For example, Igigi starts at a 12, but that size 12’s measurements is more like a 16 in other brands. Ashley Stewart 12 is cut more generously than other brands too. I also think using models like Lawley, who are clearly gorgeous, but clearly not plus-size is not a good representation of what the clothing will look like on a truly plus-size customer. A 6’0″ toned size 10/12 is very different than a 5’6″ size 12.

  3. Desie says

    Plus size starting at 12….hmmm well i’m a size 24/26 woman so I still dont consider a 12 to be plus think that size diversity in modeling is extremely important. I am very conscious of my tummy but i love to show cleavage. most of the models for plus sizes dont have my tummy so i’m still skeptical about buying the outfits cuz i have no clue how it would look on me. Lets face it…showing me a woman half my size or less will not get me to buy that outfit…I’ll pin it on my style board on pinterest and then move on.

  4. AshleyAnne says

    I am a size 12-14 depending . I weigh in around 180 @ 5’6 tall . I consider myself plus sized sometimes I feel discouraged saying that because there is a fine line there . 95% of the clothes in “regular” woman’s shops don’t fit some do or need a little coarxing . Or if I go into designated plus sized stores I can pick anything I like and not be embarrassed or fall out every which way . So I personally feel being size 12 is boarder line and just like there is less stigma on bigger sizes as so should be 12 .

    – warm regards AA.

  5. Lesa says

    I don’t mind 12 being considered “plus”, however I DO mind “plus size” clothing stores/mags/websites using size 6 or smaller women in their photo shoots. We are not all models, we do not all have flat stomachs, tiny boobs or giant asses. Why not use REAL women, of all shapes and sizes instead of the generic, cookie cutter looking models? Plus size is nothing to be afraid of, so why try and hide the fact that your clothing is *supposedly* made for women of size?

  6. says

    I believe much of what Lesa commented here on 1/19/14 nails it! What we need is fashions shown on the variety of full figure women, all the various shapes. This would go a long way toward helping us discern if a style might work for our particular shape of body.

    I have been promoting full figure fashion for years now and have rarely been able to put say a Jessica London style forward, (for example), because these are always shown on slender women.

    On the other hand, Igigi styles, while giving a better idea for some, are always shown on full busted…

    Seems to me: If a designer has several similar styles, as Igigi and Kiyonna, often do:
    Great idea would be to show those on a good range of full figure models
    forget the size #s
    Show, for example Kiyonna wrap dress or cross front top with empire waists on various women
    with most of their weight in their
    hips,
    bust
    waist or midsection, tummy
    thighs
    same with Igigi, they often have dresses in two colors,
    at least take the opportunity to show 2 shapes?

    What do you think?

  7. Marshe says

    Starting plus size at a 12 has been staple for years. What’s the shame with being plus size nowadays? Apparently, someone has an issue with accepting who they are. Most of us have no problem with it. At 5’9″ with a large frame, size 12 is ideal for me (I’m currently an 18+). But I’m actually proud that I would still be considered plus size! I’ve never wanted to be “normal”, and that is one of the things that sets me apart. Plus size/curvy girls rock.;)

  8. Florinda Estrada says

    At the end of the day, I think the issue truly stems within ourselves. “The consensus is that Mango is implying that anything above a size 10 is ‘big’ and that they are alienating plus size women,” is what the problem is. I think we are beginning to alienate ourselves. We are giving words like “plus” and “big” immense power and negative connotation without even realizing. In order to fight for equality and good cause, we must come together and appreciate our advancements instead of placing every move under a microscope and picking at any and all possible implications. Who is to even say that “plus women” are “big”? Nobody has made that a “rule,” we have only accepted it based on our acceptance of somebody else’s perception. Words are mere perceptions and I think instead of feeding off of negativity, we need to come together as a community of beautiful, confident women and embody as a unit, exactly how we want to be perceived. I am a size 12 myself, and the truth is, I feel indifferent about it. I don’t feel alienated, I don’t feel victimized, I don’t feel excessively empowered, and I don’t feel that I’m any better than a woman who is a size 2, nor 22. And this is because I know who I am and I know that my size does not define my character. And this is where we must begin. With a healthy mind, soul, and genuine love of self. Thank you, PMM. Not just for this article but for continuing to bring important news and topics for discussion to light. Kudos to Mango for such honorable progressions in the right direction. And R. Lawley, keep killin’ em!

  9. Florinda Estrada says

    At the end of the day, I think the issue truly stems within ourselves. “The consensus is that Mango is implying that anything above a size 10 is ‘big’ and that they are alienating plus size women,” is what the problem is. I think we are beginning to alienate ourselves. We are giving words like “plus” and “big” immense power and negative connotation without even realizing. In order to fight for equality and good cause, we must come together and appreciate our advancements instead of placing every move under a microscope and picking at any and all possible implications. Who is to even say that “plus women” are “big”? Nobody has made that a “rule,” we have only accepted it based on our acceptance of somebody else’s perception. Words are mere perceptions and I think instead of feeding off of negativity, we need to come together as a community of beautiful, confident women and embody as a unit, exactly how we want to be perceived. I am a size 12 myself, and the truth is, I feel indifferent about it. I don’t feel alienated, I don’t feel victimized, I don’t feel excessively empowered, and I don’t feel that I’m any better than a woman who is a size 2, nor 22. And this is because I know who I am and I know that my size does not define my character. And this is where we must begin. With a healthy mind, soul, and genuine love of self. Thank you, PMM. And not only for this article, but for continuing to bring important news and topics for discussion to light. Kudos to Mango for such honorable progressions in the right direction, and Robyn Lawley — please continue to slay.

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