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You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato – #Droptheplus

29 Apr #droptheplus

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.

#droptheplus

#droptheplus

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.
http://www.elle.com/

Victoria’s Secret in Plus Sizes?

4 Feb

Free to Be You and Me?

Recently a petition has surfaced asking Victoria’s Secret, lingerie giant, to expand their product lines to include plus sizes. The petition, started by a plus size woman, has garnered attention online and across the air waves, but the questions that beg to be answered are:

1.  Does Victoria’s Secret have an obligation to sell plus size lingerie and clothing?

2 – Are they being discriminatory – one of the petition’s main points – or missing a business opportunity – the petition’s seemingly second main point by only selling standard sized merchandise? 

Let’s examine Victoria’s Secret obligation to market and sell a plus size line.

As long as free enterprise exists in North America, businesses have every right to control their product lines as they see fit.  Victoria’s Secret already dominates a majority of lingerie sales – with sales reaching 6.6 billion last year alone. Based on these numbers and the current price of Victoria Secret’s stock, it would seem that Victoria’s Secret is quite happily reaching and meeting the needs of millions of happy customers and shareholders.

So, back to the questions:

Are they obligated to sell to plus size women?
Are they being cruel and exclusionary if they don’t?

No, and here’s why.

As a business, they are meeting and possibly exceeding their current business goals, which only includes standard sizes. It isn’t personal, it’s business.   

Are they hurting their bottom line by not expanding and marketing larger sizes?

The free market is dominated by a set of economic rules. The first being there’s a cost to every benefit. A cost-benefit analysis is pretty standard when a company is determining whether to expand or redirect merchandise. I’m sure that Victoria’s Secret – a chain owned by the same company that used to own Lane Bryant – has examined the costs and benefits of offering plus sizes and has so far decided it’s not in their best interest….at this time.

At the end of the day, criticizing Victoria’s Secrets’ business decision not to offer larger sizes makes just as much sense as standard size women criticizing Lane Bryant in the USA for not offering styles in size 0 or size 1.

Businesses fill niches.  A business cannot and should not be expected to be everything to everyone. Plus size women have a myriad of fashion options such as clothing for fuller figures and plus size lingerie today that did not exist even 15 years ago thanks to specialty stores and the Internet.  

While there is still a long long way to go in terms of society’s acceptance of alternate beauty standards, taking issue with Victoria’s Secret for only offering standard sizes really isn’t one of them is it?   Their “Perfect Body” campaign – now that’s another thing!

Plus Size Model Tess Holliday Lands Major Modelling Contract!

30 Jan

Because Tess Holiday said no to fat-shaming, cookie cutter standards of beauty using the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards, she was able to say yes to a major modeling contract with MiLK Model Management in the UK becoming the largest model at a size 22 to ever land a major modeling contract.

Tess Munster - Plus Size Model

Tess Holiday refused to give up her dream of becoming an international model despite being told continuously she was too fat and too short to make it in a physically demanding and cutthroat industry where even plus size models averaged between a size 8-18. 

Tess Munster

Tess made a name for herself on social media sites by posting the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards, while posing in a variety of plus size lingerie and fashion-forward attire that showcased her size 22 curves and sexy personality.

The world took notice of this unabashed celebration of individual beauty and confidence, and in 2013 (the same year as her Instagram and Twitter campaign launched) she was named as one of the top 20 plus size models by Italian Vogue.  

Tess Holliday

The fact that she was only 5’5″ which is considered short by model standards and a size 22 was completely irrelevant!

Tess Holliday, formerly Tess MunsterRefusing to apologize for her voluptuous size and embracing fashion and sexy lingerie, Tess has inspired millions of other plus size women who have struggled to accept themselves in lieu of often painful and harsh social criticism.

tess-munster-babydoll-lingerie

Posing in sexy underwear and lingerie or sometimes something as simple as a girly, A-line sleeveless sundress, Tess’s fans also post photos of themselves modeling formerly “forbidden” items of clothing for plus size women, proudly stating #EffYourBeautyStandards and showing as much skin as they want.

So lovely ladies of all shapes and sizes, big and small – break out the sweet and sassy babydoll you have stashed in your top drawer or order that jaw-dropping red lace corset you’ve been eyeing online, and let’s celebrate our inherent sexiness and femininity as powerful, real women.

Congratulations, Tess Holliday! 

tess-munster-swimswuittess-munster-swimswuit2

Photo Credits:  All photos courtesy of:  http://www.tessmunster.com/

Beauty Comes in all Sizes – Plus Size 2015 Calendar

14 Dec

Curvalicious Canada is a company in the Greater Toronto area where plus size people can connect with like-minded people at various events and conferences.

Tracey Crosson is the mind behind Curvalicious Canada and she is currently working on a conference that she says will ‘inspire, teach and rejuvenate the plus size community’.

She along with Photographer Laurie Marshall also worked on a Plus Size Calendar featuring several ladies from the community.

curvalicious-canada-calendarTracy advised that the proceeds from the calendar will benefit two plus size charities:

  • The BCCA Body Confidence Canada Awards and
  • NAAFA the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance Toronto Chapter.

To purchase the calendar or find out more about Curvalicious Canada, visit the link below:

Curvalicious Canada

The Perfect Body… Wait, What?

8 Nov The Perfect Body

So everyone freaking out over Meghan Trainor’s “skinny shaming” can simmer down.

It seems the fashion retailers continue to visually and verbally exalt those who just eat and eat and eat and can’t help their “skinny genes” – more on that another time. Whatever.

The latest controversy between fashion and women involves a new campaign recently launched by Victoria’s Secret. Flanked by a bevy of lingerie-clad genetically skinny (also airbrushed) models, the slogan read, “The Perfect ‘Body’.”

Outrage ensued.

A petition was launched, a twitter campaign, and a rival lingerie company launched a similar add, except it featured a variety of women’s sizes.

It was interesting to read some of the comments from people. It ranged from complete support for the petition to those men who claimed that they felt to puke when they saw the bottom photo. The comment that made me truly reflect is the one that said:

“I wonder which women are healthier,
and will live longer”.

You simply cannot provide an answer to that question by looking at either the top or bottom photo. At the end of the day, Big Beautiful Wellness says it best:

“Good Health is the ULTIMATE GOAL”
“Body size is not a true indication of Health.”

Amidst the firestorm of negative publicity, Victoria’s Secret seems to have listened, albeit grudgingly, and changed the slogan to something less offensive in recent days.

The VS squad has yet to make a formal statement in regards to the original campaign or address the fact that they changed the slogan at all. It seems to be a case of, “You don’t own me! But please, um still buy our products?”

Thankfully, you have a plus size lingerie home right here at FranBlass! We want you to embrace your beautiful curves and have fun doing it!

Whether you’re shopping for shape enhancing corsets, romantic babydoll nighties or simply new underwear to make you feel sexy as you go through your day, remember your body is your own fashion canvas.

So at the end of the day Meghan Trainor is right-, “It is all about that bass”! For those who are not too familiar with Meghan Trainor, this translates to, ‘It’s all about that BOOTY’!

Romance in the Real

23 Sep

Are you a fan of romance novels? Whether or not you enjoy this particular indulgence, statistics show that romance book sales far outpace any other genre of adult fiction. Romance novel sales break a billion dollars annually. What do these numbers tell us about the emotional needs of women? Whether single or married, it’s easy to find yourself in a rut of epic proportions – go to work, come home, clean the house, grocery shop, get up and do it all over again.

Clearly, women are craving romance and adventure, and they are stuck experiencing it vicariously through literature.While reading is a great escape, how do we stop living vicariously and start living romantically in our own lives? This dilemma is especially true for the plus size woman who bears the brunt of our youth obsessed, thin obsessed culture in the bedroom.

Here are a couple of quick and easy suggestions to rediscover romance in your daily life.

Up the romance factor in your boudoir by strategically placing candles for just a touch of fire and light. Candles really do transform a regular room from the same old-same old to a sensual and relaxing retreat. The added bonus? Everyone looks great in candlelight, too.

Wear sexy underwear to the office. You have to feel romantic before ever getting romantic and that starts early in your day. If you’re wearing granny panties to the office, you’re killing your inner romance goddess before she ever gets to come out and play.

 

Sexy underwear set the tone for your day. Trade in a standard brassiere for the coverage and romance factor of a corset.

 

By the time you get home, you’ll be ready to leave the book on the nightstand and engage in a little role play of your own!

Fat versus Fit?

22 Sep

Americans are paying more attention than ever to the food products going into their mouths these days.  The current focus on organic, additive-free eating and cooking at home brings up the age-old question, are you living a healthy lifestyle?

Is the 125 pound teenager with the naturally high metabolism who eats fast food four times a week and plays video games 12 hours a day healthier than a mom of two who plays tennis three times a week, cooks organic, and indulges in ice cream on the weekends and weighs in at 175 pounds?  The answer seems obvious, but isn’t.  Health professionals continue to debate the role that fat and BMI plays in our individual health versus the benefits of physical activity and thoughtful food choices.

Plus size model, Crystal Wren, would probably argue that she is much healthier at a heavier weight, than when she was battling anorexia nervosa to maintain straight model status.   Many female Olympic athletes, like Lindsay Vonn (at 165 lbs, BMI 23.7) or hockey player Angela Ruggiero (190 lbs, BMI 28) weigh on the upper end of the weight/height ratio but are still extremely healthy, strong individuals.

It would seem that when it comes to the battle of fat versus fit, the most important choices we make are the only things on which the medical community can totally agree – physical activity at least three times a week for 30-45 minutes for heart health and making healthy, moderate eating choices.  Being society’s definition of “skinny” doesn’t ensure you are actually healthy.

Remember everyone – sex burns calories, too, and is great for your immune system so slip into your sexy plus size lingerie or most romantic babydoll or corset and make healthy living fun!

Not everything that’s good for you is bad for your waistline.   Love and live on!