Plus Size (un)professionals that body shame plus size models; shame on you!
If the title of this article got you feeling a type of way then keep reading.
Body shaming is pretty much an unacceptable term in the plus size industry. We probably have heard it all at this point; during disagreements or from simply wearing an outfit that people basically don’t like. It’s a damn shame that we are still experiencing the hate over our bodies.
What I love to see is when we ban together as an industry and let people know that body shaming us is not tolerated.
What I don’t like to see is when it is one of our own that is doing the body shaming. Doesn’t make sense right? I mean that’s kind of like the pot calling the kettle black right? But it happens quite often, more often than I would like to mention.
OH but what absolutely disgusts me is to see a designer that creates clothing for plus size women and then turn around and do the body shaming. What is THAT about? What exactly are they trying to say to us? Do they just see this as a money making industry but really don’t have the respect for it, or us? I could be wrong, but what other reason is there? It’s one thing to personally give advice to a plus size woman but it’s another thing to shame her; and it’s absolutely intolerable to do it publicly.
But it's not just designers, photographers are among the culprits as well. There are some photographers that will refuse to shoot plus size women, not because they are not skilled at it but because (and I heard this for myself) they have to do too much editing to make the body look good.
Your fellow models are offenders too; I see it all the time. I heard someone once say that we fighting amongst ourselves is one of the reasons why will never be taken seriously. While I agree with that statement, remember this; WE have to learn to take our industry seriously. WE have to learn to respect one another. WE have to learn how to stand up for each other; even when it is against one of our own. Because guess what? They are either part of the solution or part of the problem. Body should not be accepted by ANYONE. Therefore if we accept it from ourselves, then we should accept it from anyone else. What’s the difference?
Here are some testimonies of three women who have experienced body shaming.
Model: Nikki Carter
Photographer: Jose Pagãn
MUA: Patrice Story Mua
Stylist: Mallory B. Richardson "The Doll House"
Attire: Rachel Sanders of Unique Closet
Nikki Carter said:
I am a currently a size 14/16 and I have struggled with body acceptance most of my life. My weight has fluctuated from a size 12 to a small 18 since I was a teen. It wasn't until after an ugly divorce I decided to go against the odds and started modeling to face my fears head on. I knew I wasn't the fuller size most American designers were looking for, my thighs aren't as thick as the "regular" 16, my arms are larger like my mom's arms, and the thing that bothered me the most were my breast. Although, I have several stories the one that sticks out the most happened early in my modeling career. I was super excited just to be chosen for the show yet very young in the industry. While backstage the designer attempted to adjust the clothing in preparation for lineup. After reaching into my bra to adjust my breast so that they "sit higher" (that's common and I was not offended at all) but it was the comment that followed afterwards that stung rather hard. "Damn, there isn't a thing there." Proceeded by a giggle while holding my small C cup. In that moment, I immediate felt like I was back in 6th grade and the mean girls were making jokes about my belly again. As always the show went on and I put my feelings aside and strutted as if my life depended on it because that is what I do. That night I was dubbed as the crowd favorite, the outfit I was wearing was bought immediately, and I booked three major gigs from other designers.
Body shaming is NEVER ok, I am healthy, I am active, and I am happy with me and those are what’s most important.
Model: Melissa Knowles
Photographer: Mark Wyche
Melissa Knowles said:
I had a designer tell me that I should focus more on editorial and not runway because the majority of designer’s clothes are not going to fit me due to me being top heavy. She even had the audacity to ask if my breasts were real, and if so I should consider having a breast reduction if I wanted to make it as a model on the fashion runway or a model period. Basically she was discouraging me by telling me I'm not proportioned correctly to wear designer’s clothes on the runway.
Another model (who asked to remain anonymous) said:
A designer posted my picture on social media and made the following comment “I wish I had a picture of this dress on smaller model so you can see how beautiful it really is, but use your imagination”. She later took the picture down after everyone ganged up on her. I felt humiliated.
Anyone that shames plus size models should NOT be in this industry! They don’t deserve our money.