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The 10 Best Plus Size Moments of 2019

The 10 Best Plus Size Moments of 2019

A new decade is almost upon us and we’re looking back at some of the best plus-size moments in 2019.

We’re definitely ending the year with so many wins for the plus-size industry and here are 10 of our favorites from 2019:

#1: Visibly plus women are seen on magazine covers and in campaigns

This was the year we saw visibly plus size women (size 18+) front and center. With the average American woman now a size 18, we say, it’s about damn time.

From Tess Holliday gracing the July 2019 cover of Nylon to Lizzo ending the year on the cover of British Vogue, visibly plus size women were showing the world that they can exist in a larger body that may not be the perfect hourglass shape and be confident, happy and beautiful.

Universal Standard also continued to push the envelope by using a size 34/36 model on their website, which we predict will prompt other brands to use larger models alongside their usual size-14 and size-18 ones.

#2: More brand launches and size expansions

2019 was definitely the year of exciting brand launches, especially focused on a customer that hasn’t really been talked about… the high-end luxury buyer. New brands such as Ryllace and Henning directly serve that customer with luxe closet staples and quality basics. This new wave of luxury high-end brands forces the industry to recognize that plus size women are worth quality-made clothing and will spend the money to buy them.

Henning Launch

Photo, Henning

Popular mainstream brands also expanded their size ranges to get in on the $30 billion dollar industry, such as Anthropologie, American Eagle and Madewell. With adidas recently launching up to size 4X in select styles and looking to expand on that in 2020, we’re excited to see where this will lead in the new decade.

#3: Successful Influencer Collaborations 

Eloquii made the spring season a little brighter and bolder this year with their collaboration with celebrity makeup artist Priscilla Ono. Lane Bryant partnered with plus-size style influencer Rochelle Johnson of Beauticurve for a fresh and feminine collection

NADIAXFTF

Photo, Fashion to Figure

And Fashion to Figure’s collabs with influencers Nadia Aboulhosn and Sarah Rae Vargas gave us sexy and classy, along with snake print wide calf boots that plus-size fashionistas are still coveting.

There were some collab fails this year (we won’t name names) but if these successful collaborations are any indication of what’s to come in 2020, we can’t wait!

#4: Major mainstream designers expand into plus sizes

This year, we saw iconic designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg (via 11 Honoré), Betsey Johnson (via Dia & Co), Veronica Beard, Tanya Taylor, Rebecca Minkoff (via Stitch Fix) and Hilary Macmillan expand their sizing, with most notably, Macmillan offering up to a size 4X. 

Speaking of 11 Honoré, they are truly disrupting the designer fashion world and changing the belief that only straight size women wear designer clothing. When looking at the designer list on their site, we see well-known names such as Dolce & Cabbana, Rachel Comey and Carolina Herrera available in plus sizes. While only Herrera goes up to a 24, we see this as a step in the right direction, as we walk into a new decade.

#5: Nike Adds Plus Size Mannequins to Flagship Store

In June, Nike stirred quite a bit of controversy when it made a bold move, adding plus-size mannequins to their UK flagship store. 

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Dear Tanya Gold, In the last 24 hours, I learned that 'obese' mannequins cannot run in fitness gear. In fact, she's probably pre-diabetic, looking for a hip replacement and you know what — you might be right. I was admiring the way she doesn't have a double chin, how hard it is to find a single soft area on her plastic skin to check her glucose levels or how that hollow body doesn't have bones. Actually, I hate her too. She will never know what it's like to be publicly shamed by people's eyes, a doctor diagnose her every ailment by her rolls or be told demeaning comments that will infiltrate her brain the way previous generations have done to us. Fellow plus size warrior, what did this plastic do to you? Tell me stories about how she's a representation of your own woes in 2008. Mannequins cannot "eat cake" but I chuckle at your hypocrisy as you asked people to let you be fat and proud years ago but suddenly developed amnesia only a decade later. Ms. Gold, did you clutch my hand this morning as I ate lunch this afternoon? Did you shed happy tears as I ate kale, peas and mushrooms with my pasta? If I drop 50 pounds tomorrow, will you give me permission to be a runner? The audacity of me to pretend to be a 'gargantuan' athlete for 6 years until you called all of us fatties out yesterday. My robust imagination must've zapped myself skinny at every race. I must've heaved my fat into a dumpster while nobody was looking. There's no way I ran in this 247 lb fat suit. Let's be honest Tanya: The mannequin doesn't give a damn about your reckless article because she can't hear you. But humans like me with a pulse heard your comments way before the Telegraph gave you a green light to publish this abomination. You blamed the BoPo and fat acceptance movement as being negative. Let's "run" – chuckle here cuz fat people running is funny, right – with this analogy that this mannequin shouldn't 'ready herself for a run'. How should she armor herself in life if nothing is made for us? If we cannot see ourselves in something, then the world don't think we exist. It's easy to bash but I'd love to hear your solutions for us. Excuse me as I do what mannequins can't do — run.

A post shared by Latoya Shauntay Snell (@iamlshauntay) on

This came as no surprise to us as they have been integrating plus sizes into their assortment and working with key plus-size influencers, as well as partnering with Alabama State plus-size dance team The Honeybeez on a feature.   

#6: Miley Cyrus’ video featuring a diverse cast

When Cyrus dropped her new video “Mother’s Daughter” during the summer, who knew including a visibly plus-size model in it would cause an uproar?

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“I've always been a fighter. Maybe not always in the most productive way, but fighting for myself, a friend or even for a stranger who is being bullied has always been a part of my personality. Fat acceptance is based on the notion that all fat people, regardless of health, deserve respect. And it's a battle that is fought every day by thousands, including myself. Social media's accessibility allows us to peek in on others living their lives, but too often the conversation turns negative when there are fat bodies involved. People just love to leave awful comments on fat folks photos in order to feel superior and I promise you, not one of these commenters actually cares about the health, family, environment or whatever bullshit reason they give for their vile behavior towards a fat person. And really, how in the hell does health matter in the context of someone just posting a photo of themselves feeling happy and confident? (HINT: it doesn't matter, stop pretending like it does) Next time you see a fat person posting pictures of themselves living their life, stop and ask yourself why you wish to spoil their joy. I guarantee that you can't come up with a valid reason that isn't based in your own ego gratification. Stop it and do better! We humans have a lot to learn, but we can start by fighting our personal biases and permitting people of all genders, races, sexualities, sizes, abilities and health levels to live harassment-free lives. Don't fuck with their freedom to feel happy and beautiful right now, not just when society says it’s ok.” – Angelina Duplisea @anactingangel

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The model, Angelina Duplisea, is not a size-14 hourglass shape with a flat tummy. And Cyrus was trying to show the beauty of all in her video. The comments that were posted on social media were downright horrible and no one deserves to be shamed in that way. Ever.

We wrote back then:

“One of the biggest takeaways from this video launch and the aftermath is that fat hatred is still prevalent in the world and there is still a ton of work to be done within the body positive movement.”

Let’s hope the 2020’s see less fat hatred and more body positivity. And kudos to Cyrus for speaking up after the launch, in defense of Duplisea.

#7: Lizzo finally gets mainstream success

Let’s be honest, it’s been Lizzo’s year and again, we say, it’s about damn time! 

Three’s a charm in Lizzo’s case as it was her third album “Cuz I Love You” that helped her achieve mainstream success.

From earning eight Grammy nominations and three American Music Awards to an appearance on Saturday Night Live (which will be the final episode of the year and decade) and a small role in J Lo’s movie Hustlers, Lizzo was everywhere this year. 

She also graced the cover of British Vogue, and Time Magazine named her their Entertainer of the Year, as did Entertainment Weekly. She had 61.6 million listeners on Spotify this year alone and Apple Music called her Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Despite her single “Good as Hell” being three years old, that record and “Truth Hurts” were both on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. Lizzo is so well-known to the point where she was even an answer to a Jeopardy question

We would not be surprised if Lizzo made an appearance during the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2020 since JLo is the headliner with Shakera. After 8 years of touring and putting in the work, we’re happy to see Lizzo finally getting her due and kicking off a new decade in a successful place.

#8: The Curvy Kili Crew Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

When the Curvy Kili Crew announced that they would be hiking up Mt Kilimanjaro on International Women’s Day 2019, we were in awe. Twenty plus size women of many shapes and sizes made that climb, showing the world that larger bodies can not only move but soar. 

Curvy Kili Crew leader Christa Singleton climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2016 and as a self-described “slow, fat hiker”, the experience was life-changing and inspired her to go back. All the women in the crew have their own empowering story as to what inspired them to hike, however one goal unified them: to have this amazing experience with other women who understand what it’s like to be fat and active

Crew member Deb Malkin summed it up perfectly:

“The chance to go on a great adventure with other plus-size/fat women was something I couldn’t miss, an experience of a lifetime. We all know what it’s like to be in the back of the pack. We will meet this challenge together.”

In 2020, the crew will head back to Kilimanjaro in February, Peru/Machu Picchu in July and then to Iceland in August. And you can join the crew on any of these hiking trips. Click here for more info.

#9: The FFIAs

This was the year the plus-size industry finally got its own awards show. The Full Figured Industry Awards (the FFIAS) took place, with categories such as Model of the Year, Photographer of the Year, Retailer of the Year and others. 

With key industry professionals such as celebrity stylist Timothy Snell, IMG model Zach Miko and Project Runway model winner Liris Crosse in the building, the awards show was a wonderful opportunity for those in the industry to be recognized for their hard work. 

Most of the industry goes unseen by the mainstream media/fashion industry so to be honored by your own community is a major win. And of course, the red carpet fashion was pure slayage. We can’t wait for next year!

#10: David’s Bridal Gets Rid of “Fat Tax”

Ending the year and decade on a positive note, the major bridal retailer announced that it will no longer charge more for plus size wedding gowns. This new policy will include bridesmaids’ gowns as well.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “fat tax”, it’s when plus-size customers are charged more for clothing, visiting a spa or salon, etc. It’s been called unfair and some even say it fat-shames customers. The fat tax is especially prevalent in the bridal market, where manufacturers charge more for extra fabric, beading and lace.

Jim Marcum, CEO of David’s Bridal said in an official statement:

“On average, the upcharge for a plus size wedding gown is nearly 15 percent, and we do not believe that a woman’s size should determine how much she pays. Since I started at David’s Bridal just over four months ago, I have made it my number one priority to serve all brides, making it our mission to remind every bride that she is beautiful.”

Now that’s how you start a new decade! Thank you, David’s Bridal!

2019 was an exciting year and as we usher in a new decade, we can’t wait to see what happens next in the plus-size industry and beyond.

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What were some of your favorite plus size moments of 2019? Follow us on social media and let us know: @plusmodelmagFacebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

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