It all started with an article in Volkskrant Magazine about plus size models titled “The Bigger Doutzens”, making reference to size 4 Dutch model Doutzen Kroes, who is a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
The article featured four women who work as plus size models simply because they are considered “too fat” to be standard size models. The image (see above) that accompanied the article showed four women who don’t appear to be plus size. Which asks the question…where does plus start in the industry?
Grand Diva Magazine, an online magazine based in Holland that is dedicated to the modern plus size woman, decided to work on a project that would challenge the Volkskrant Magazine article by having its own image of four visibly plus size women who are just as beautiful as “The Bigger Doutzens” featured in the image in Volkskrant Magazine.
The image (above) of the “Thicker Doutzens” is posted on Grand Diva Magazine’s website, along with an open letter from Annemarie Timmerman, Editor of Grand Diva Magazine, where she makes some valid points about body image and how the term plus size has become vague and misused:
“As a bigger woman myself, I think it is a shame that the magazine opted for attention-grabbing and somewhat shocking text with the photograph. A statement such as “The Bigger Doutzens” above a photo of women with a normal build will naturally generate a lot of response. But if Volkskrant really intended to make a statement and cared about our bigger fellow human beings, they could have gone deeper into the subject. Ultimately, these four women are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to acceptance within society.”
“What is worrisome, is the fact that an image with a text like this, paints a false picture of reality and maintains it. Whether it was intended well or not, in this era of the Internet, it will start living a life of its own and will influence a whole lot of women and young girls in a negative way. I wonder why, if the magazine wanted to show how crooked the society is concerning this subject, they did not opt for ‘real’ plus size women instead, or as well! Perhaps that would have been a bridge too far? This would have been revolutionary to say the least!”
In her open letter, Annemarie describes how the project got started and how positive the response was. Over 150 women wanted to volunteer to be a part of the photo shoot. She sent the photo and story to Volkskrant, also asking them if they might want to show the photo, in addition to their previous article. At the time of the writing of this article, Volkskrant has not responded.
This is a topic we have been discussing since the start of the year when we asked the question “What is plus size?” in our January 2014 issue. And with Grand Diva Magazine taking a stand on this issue just shows that this is a topic that won’t go away and will continue to be talked about worldwide.
To see Annemarie Timmerman’s open letter on the Grand Diva Magazine website, click here. The website is in Dutch but if you use Google Chrome as your browser, it will translate the page for you.
What do you think of this project? What are your views on the fashion industry considering models above a size 4 to be too fat to work as a standard size model? Please leave us a comment below and let us know.