Padding Models, The Community and Losing Focus – Is The Plus Size Customer An After Thought?
It’s no secret to those in the industry that models use padding in all areas of their bodies including “cutlets” in their bra’s. I don’t make the rules, I’m just stating the facts. I think the fact that women and the media are so appalled by it, says something about where we are as customers.
My gripe is not about Marquita Pring herself, the girl is stunning and a sweetheart, but she is simply speaking about her job.
I have met many models that knew NOTHING about the plus size community, and in fact, they are encouraged by their agents NOT to participate in anything that has to do with a plus size movement. It’s deemed low class or “not industry”. Yet, this very industry is made up of customers who follow the careers of these very same women, adore these models and buy from the brands they model for.
If you have followed the modeling industry at all in the past 10 years, the size of the models have changed, but most importantly the focus of the plus size modeling industry has changed as well.
The plus size models wanted more than anything than to model for big brands like Lane Bryant and Ashley Stewart, and now for some, it’s just a paycheck, somewhat of an embarrassment and a stepping stone to modeling in mainstream fashion.
We, the plus size customer, are no longer the focus of the plus size modeling industry and the brands are getting their “feeling” and education from people who have no connection with the plus size woman. I’m not saying that to be a good plus size agent you have to be part of the community, but it would help if you knew what the customers were looking for and what the brand represented.
It used to be that the brands dictated what they wanted, but I have had many executives tell me that agents are telling them who is hot and who is not. Why would a clothing brand allow someone whose primary job is to get his or her models jobs dictate who the models should be and the size of the model? I certainly would not be taking my cues for content for PLUS Model Magazine from Weight Watchers.
So where do we go from here?
Well luckily, we have Facebook and Twitter; be vocal and ask for what you want. We will not see size diversity and be marketed to the way we want unless you actually say something about it. Being militant and nasty is not the answer but being realistic and professional about who you are as a plus size customer will go a lot further. Support those companies, bloggers, designers, industry leaders and models who do love their job and love who they are doing this job for.
I also want to say, that I’m very grateful for the fashion options I have today.
I may not have exactly what I want, but in comparison to my shopping experience years ago, I’m having a blast shopping and finding ways to be creative. So although you may not like all major brands, because your a lot more stylish or younger than the demographic – there are those of us that do like shopping those brands because it fits who we are.
Fashion is not just for the young and trendy, but for the mom, aunty and grandmother and we all deserve good fashion options.