Should The Term "Plus Size" In The Modeling Industry Be Banned?

Should The Term "Plus Size" In The Modeling Industry Be Banned?

Recently, American plus size model, Tara Lynn, graced the cover of Elle Spain's November issue. You can see that she did an amazing job from the cover shoot. However, every time the term "plus size" is used, I see more and more people become upset. Do you think the term should be banned or is it necessary for differentiation purposes? 


With many of the comments across the web, the term "plus size" is starting to be considered offensive and rude. However, within the fashion industry, the term itself is used often and without much thought.

By definition, a plus size model refers to a person that models plus size clothing, which can start at size 12, depending on the source. To make it clear, “Plus-size models also engaged in work that is not strictly related to selling large-sized clothing, e.g., stock photography and advertising photography for cosmetics, household and pharmaceutical products and sunglasses, footwear and watches. Therefore plus-size models do not exclusively wear garments marketed as plus-size clothing. This is especially true when participating in fashion editorials for mainstream fashion magazines.” - Source

It still doesn't take away from the fact that many people still do consider the term offensive because these models do represent a majority of people in size. Should the term be abolished all together? Do you believe that there should be any distinction in a model's size by labeling them?

[Via Huffington Post]

Log in or register to post comments

I bought a Disney Princess costume for my daughter. The label says 4T but when we went out it was way too big around the waist and shoulders so it kept sliding off. The reason a 4T isn't actually meant for kids in that age range is because my average size kids are no longer catered to because most kids stuff is built for the "new average" child which is 20-30% heftier than a few decades ago. And it would be considered "cruel" if A children's company would label their clothing honestly as "size 4T with extra girth for your mcnugget filled princess tummies".

Yes. I feel that there is too much pressure put on people to look a certain way. But I also feel there is too much defense for when someone DOESNT fit into the norm. It's not offensive to say "Plus Size" or "Husky", these are merely adjectives to keep people from wasting their time with products that aren't meant for them. Just like this $45 Cinderella Dress that my 4yr old will never fit unless she wears her jacket under the dress.

Yes, I agree and thought "Plus Size" and "Husky" were the politically correct versions of Big & Tall or other "cruel" terms.

What happened to calling a cat a cat. FAT. OBESE. OVER WEIGHT.

"Plus Size" is not fat nor obese or overweight - it means not to be stickly thin like the world of models that the public have become accustomed to. Besides, being super thin doesn't define what is attractive or not - in fact I personally find the realistically healthy "thin" plus sized models far more attractive and interesting compared to the world of super thin models.

I'm sorry. But over in Canada, plus sizes are refered to when sizes go over 14. to give you an idea, a 5"8 120lbs girl would usually wear nowhere near a 2.

14 IS obese. No other word for it. YES these sickly little pens with hair on magasine covers ARE too skinny most of the time, but it doesn't mean that 250lbs and over is NOT obese...

just call am fat..... how political correct can we be?

Agreed. Let's ditch the euphemisms and call them "overweight" models. Next the obese will just be called "super-sized." I'm tired of the creeping normalization of overweight and unhealthy in pop culture. And I'm fine with calling a 5'11" skeleton an "underweight" or "emaciated" model too, FWIW.

that's true!

If we go ahead and call a fat cat a fat cat.. skinny cats need the same amount of detail in their description...

Why is everything we say or do fat shaming these days? You're unhealthy; stop trying to pin the blame on us.

if anything, shes normal sized....

Sorry, but that girl is NOT "plus" size.

My wife calls her fat. Husky, plus, etc. She could use to loose a few pounds.

The model or your wife? If your wife thinks this model is fat...

...I'd hate to know just how skinny your wife is...

Look at photos of this model online, she is fat. My wife is 110lbs at 5'4" that is with 2 kids and at 40 years old. She does exercise and does not over eat.

She is. Plus size is over size 0. She is over size 0. Models are more appealing to most, except the white knights, when they look like they do...its WHY they look like they do. They exist. "They aren't real" - They are. There are many many women who are fit, healthy and size 0 - model figure....if you don't believe me, come to Boulder, Colorado. There is nothing wrong with a plus size body type. I don't think anyone is saying that but the people who are offended by it, because they are plus sized.

Well, seeing the photo posted below I can see she is large, she just didn't look it in that frame on the article cover.

Insidious image.
While the typical emaciated model is dressed in skimpy clothes, the so called plus size model is carefully swathed in cloths that cunningly veil her body shape.

I see the problem being solely with the people that are offended by the label.

In a perfect world we would all have 2 minutes to peruse an ad, catalog or store window. Reality says we need to absorb within about 2 seconds what it is this place, this rack of clothes, or this issue spread is about to garner interest to act.

A label like "Plus Sizes", that has become "defacto", actually does that rather well in our hectic and ad-bombarded daily meandering through all the distractions and attention-getting tricks of assorted marketers.


1) Funny how at 6'2" and 220 (guy) I'm an L at best in America and an XXXL here in Germany.

2) Literally 1000's upon 1000's of men... and women... adore Tara Lynn. I had a Pinterest account a year ago where I was doing some photo shooting and style research, where I had a "Curvy Board". Among all my boards full of top models, gorgeous photos... this photo of Tara Lynn had by far the most re-pins and likes:

I found that actually quite refreshing, because it gave me the courage to take more time looking at the not-so-obvious potential models all of us run across everyday, rather than only the ones that fit a traditional "portfolio shooting". I've done rather well with this new market :)

Yes, by all means, let's keep "banning" words.

A plus-sized model would be about what a normal woman would be in the rest of the world.

Not really. L in the US is still bigger than XL or even XXL here in Europe.

Funny how overweight people are offended at the term "plus size" but have no problem constantly telling skinny people both online and offline that they should "eat something".

In the modeling world, 'plus size' is about the size of an average gal in the real world. The term has nothing to do with 'normal' people. Arguing about the wording seems dumb. She's beautiful, by the way.

Think the right thing to do would be to call the models that are until now on covers "Minus Size"?

What's wrong with plain old "fat"? The American model of politically correct nonsense is just SO over the top and offensive itself. "Plus size", pff. The girl in the nude picture a few comments above is fat, unhealthy looking and, to my taste, extremely unattractive. Definitely not "regular size", at least in the Old World. Why are these fat people constantly being shoved down our throats as the new "normal", is that some sort of world conspiracy so we stop laughing at American tourists? What's wrong with calling things by their real names? If it hurts their feelings - even better, maybe that will make them stop eating humongous amounts of junk food and maybe even go to the gym for once so they won't die of a lard-induced heart attack at age 42. I'm so glad I decided to stay in Europe, where we are still allowed to be different, to have an opinion and don't have to pretend to like everyone. That's ironic, is the EU the new "land of the free"? Haha.
And, I would react in the same way to an anorexic girl. Healthy is beautiful, simple as that.
And, yeah, in the US my clothes are "S" sized, in the EU - "L". Different worlds.

AM a big guy and "plus size" is being nice. I can not see how that is offensiveness at all. I mean is there a term that these whinier would accept. I can not think of one better then "plus size".

Is this a joke? The idea of 'plus size' and the comparison it represents is already bad enough as it is, and to throw this into the mix is simply more insult to injury. I don't know if we absolutely need to enforce another 'political correct' item as we are flooded with them enough as it is, but the sooner we accept each other for the beauty we represent and the things we capture as photographers the better ;)

Another non-issue on fstoppers. Posting something that you anticipate to be controversial and then shrugging your shoulders and asking "good or bad?", is not content. Should a word be used? The alternative is to literally not speak or describe anything. "What does she look like?" "____________." "What does she model?" "____________."

If you start using numbers, then in a few years fstoppers and bored cable news stations will say "Women are being called twelves. Should we be really be using this offensive term?"

Idiotic topic.

Spread the truth and make the myth go away.
The only countries in the world that have the BMI's the insurance industry wants us to have are Asian countries where genetically smaller people are or war torn and impoverished countries with. Women look like this, always have and always will. The insurance industry has brainwashed modern medicine for a 100 years since increasing rates works for them. If they charged based on what is repeatedly shown as the lowest mortality (BMI's from 27 to 35, but never over 35) they would not be able to make the amount they do. It's an insurance myth propagated all over and people have weighed this since the 1800's per age group. We have a lot more older people now, they're called baby boomers and though the insurance industry says you must not gain weight through your life, low and behold humans always have and likely are supposed to due to biology to give you a protective effect as they get older and are more susceptible to infectious disease that will cause massive weight loss that can kill before the body has time to heal. World weights are listed below, happy to supply other studies that are done sceintifically and repeatedly confirm mortality is higher at BMI's of 18 to 24.9

If we lower the rates of incidence of heart disease and diabetes (which exercise without weight loss will do), a new nasty death or illness cause will take over and possibly gaining weight will make that one go away, we don't know. There will always be a top medical issue.

The term "plus-size" shouldn't be banned, plus-sized models should, though!

So use the terms Lardbutt, Fat, Chunky and Overweight.
Be honest about it.

OK, as long as we call those other models "Minus Size"

Who cares? The term "plus sized" is used to describe models that are bigger than standard models. I think the main problem is the fact that a lot of people don't want to be called "plus sized," as if that suddenly diminishes your worth as a person. By being offended by the word, you're implying that you don't want to be associated with people who are overweight.