You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato – #Droptheplus

29 Apr

The controversy surrounding the term ‘plus size’ was recently brought to a head by prominent names in the fashion industry, including Australian size 8 model, Stefania Ferrario, and others like Kami Crawford. These are just a couple of the women who have banded together to demand the elimination of the term, ‘plus size’ in the fashion and modeling world. The women contend that the name is not only limiting and insulting, but unnecessary. A model is a model; a woman is a woman – no more, no less, no matter her size.



However, other prominent names in the plus size fashion industry, like Tess Munster and Laura Wells, embrace the plus size label because it has allowed them to brand themselves and pick up lucrative niche, as well as, mainstream contracts, while spreading the message that beauty does, indeed, come in all sizes.

Tess Holliday and Laura Wells

While some industry giants, like IMG Models, claim to no longer separately label “standard” size models versus “plus size models”, the question remains – how do stores, designers, advertising campaigns, etc delineate what goods they have to offer if the term ‘plus size’ is retired? Will stores no longer organize their clothing according to size – which is actually done to benefit the consumer.

Who wants to wade through a rack of Junior clothes/sizes if you’re 35 with hips? And why wade through a rack of zero to twelves, if you are a size 18? In today’s convenience obsessed society, it seems ludicrous to do away with descriptive size information that saves shoppers time and money.

According to Jenne Runk, “the term ‘plus size’ is just a term used to describe a body type, like tall, short, athletic, curvy, or anything else. I don’t see anything negative about it, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being called plus size. To me, it’s just a label. Some people call me plus size; some people say I’m not. It makes no difference to me. Some people call my hair brunette and some call it dirty blonde, that means as much to me as whether or not I’m called plus size. How other people describe me doesn’t define how I see myself.”

She continues to say, “I often refer to myself as a ‘large person,’ because I am, literally, large. I’m taller and bigger than many of my female friends. I simply take up more space; I’ve always been that way. I don’t care what the fashion industry calls me. If they want to call me plus size, that’s fine with me; if they want to call me a model, that’s fine, too. I’m not ashamed or afraid of my body type. I’m not ashamed or afraid of any words people might use to describe it.”

Plus Size Model Jennie Runk

Plus Size Model – Jennie Runk

Perhaps the problem lies in the perception of “plus size” women, rather than the term itself. If modeling agencies and stores transform their terminology to something with a perceived more flattering undertone (ie ‘curvy line’), will such a change suddenly radically transform the way society treats/views larger women?

While Ferrario’s frustration is understandable within the modeling world, since at a size 8 she is well within standard sizes, it seems her argument is more with the extreme standards set by the fashion world for models rather than the practical application of the term ‘plus size’ as a description for sizes above a 12.

Maybe everyone should just take a deep breath and remember the famous words of The Bard himself, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Credits:  Quotes from models taken from this great article.


2 Responses to “You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato – #Droptheplus”

  1. makeuponatightbudget April 30, 2015 at 3:17 am #

    i usually say that I’m fat. I’m a size 13-15 in jeans and i carry it all it my hips, butt, and boobs. However when I say that I’m fat people always tell me “no, you’re not! You’re perfect the way you are!” the thing is, i never once mention fat being fat is a bad thing. Fat is an adjective, and i don’t mind using it to describe myself. I don’t feel the need to sugar coat it with words like “thick, plump, and juicy”, i’m a person not a pork roast!

  2. Jacquline D May 20, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    There are times when I feel so frustrated/angered with the term “plus size”. I’ve always wondered why a full figured woman has to be labelled? Why do we have to pay more for clothing? It’s the same outfit on the petite rack. Is it because you have to use more material to make the same outfit in plus size? Are we being punished because we don’t fit in societies definition on “super model?” Ok, yes, we are not what “society” considers to be the average size, but what defines average?

     I have struggled with weight all my life, and I’ve finally come to realization, it’s all a matter of me, loving me, no matter what size I am. I will never be a size zero, but is zero really a “normal size?” I have curves, and  some days the curves  seems great with what I’m wearing, and some days, not so much! But the curves are mine! When it’s all said and done, I need to be happy in the skin that I am in! Curves and all! Live a healthy life and keep to the motto “everything in moderation!”


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