We kicked off the year asking the question: “What is plus size?”
We were so passionate about bringing this question to the forefront that we dedicated our entire January 2014 issue to it. We felt this was a question and discussion that needed to be addressed because of the divide that was emerging in the plus size fashion industry. Plus size models were appearing to get smaller to the point where some models featured in plus size fashion campaigns were smaller than the sizes offered from that retailer.
Even models who are a size 8 are considered plus size and many of those models, as well as those a size 10 and 12, began to voice their disdain at being called “plus size” after gaining much success as plus size models. Some like Robyn Lawley want the term removed, some models like Candice Huffine like to use the word “curvy” instead and some like Hayley Hasselhoff and Fluvia Lacerda embrace the term because they feel that it’s just a business term to market to a specific customer.
We talked to one model, who not only doesn’t mind being called plus size, but is proud of it. Jessica Milagros graces the cover of our latest issue, The Bridal & Beauty Issue. Our Editor-in-Chief Madeline Jones sat down with Jessica for an in-depth interview where she discussed her views on the term “plus size” and more.
Jessica got right to the point with saying:
“I have no shame in calling myself a plus size model nor do I believe the term should be abolished from the industry.”
She also talks about how she thinks the rise of plus size modeling and its popularity has helped women be more accepting of their bodies. But she goes on to say that while that is a major accomplishment, there is still a blurred line in the sand when it comes to what exactly is considered plus size in the modeling world:
“To me personally, there is nothing ‘plus’ about a size 8. Yes, they are beautiful and I feel like they should model straight size clothing (Some of the most beautiful and successful straight size models were between a size 6 and 8) but if I’m purchasing a plus size article of clothing, I’d like to have a better idea of what that would look like on a woman who actually fits in plus size clothing.”
“There is still a great necessity for diversity in all aspects.”
Jessica credits her own positive body image to her childhood in Puerto Rico where the term “Gorda”, which means “fat girl” in Spanish, is used as one of endearment. So that word took on a positive meaning as a descriptor and not an insult. She admits that looking different from her friends and family bothered her somewhat when she was younger but she learned to accept and embrace her differences.
“What I learned later was to embrace all things that made me different, because that was what someone was going to love about me one day and I love standing out now. As a model, now I need to come up with even more ways to stand out of a sea of gorgeous women.”
To read more of our exclusive interview with plus size model Jessica Milagros, click here. The interview is on pages 101-105.
To check out our April 2014 Bridal & Beauty Issue, which features Jessica on the cover and also in a sexy bridal lingerie fashion editorial, click here. The bridal lingerie editorial is on pages 107-120.
What do you think of the use of the term “plus size” in the modeling and fashion industries? Please leave us a comment below and let us know.