CURVE APPEAL: My thoughts on the term “plus size” and a look at the swimwear collection of model Robyn Lawley, including the current collection and the upcoming one…
A WORD ABOUT “PLUS SIZE”
It was nice to hear that model Robyn Lawley had produced a swimwear collection for Australian sizes 10-22 (note: here’s a size converter for other countries). The term “plus size” is met with derision amongst many, but personally I still need to use it if I have any hope of tracking down things that fit me and look stylish.
I am fat. It’s not a luscious term, but it’s true. I’m allowed to admit it but I still don’t appreciate anyone else saying so. I even lost a friend because she constantly reminded me of how fat I was. She thought she was being helpful, but her cruel tone and superior attitude because she was losing weight said more about her than me. I am well aware about what’s caused me to gain weight over the years and it was not from simply being slothful. I’d prefer not to be the size I am and essentially, I wish there was a bit more kindness and understanding in the world around this topic.
I actually feel some relief when something is labelled “plus size” because I feel like I could be in with a chance. I am disappointed by the thousands of items I see and adore through my own Luscious blog each day which are not made to fit me. And I struggle to find clothes for larger sizes which are actually appealling, but at least I have the opportunity through my blog to have access to a database of thousands of retailers and the opportunity to add some of my finds to the PLUS SIZE section of the Luscious Shop.
Yes, I completely agree that there should simply be a range of sizes without the judgemental tone, but the reality is that the clothes we see on the runway are typically modelled by women much slimmer than I am, and as a consequence I can enjoy the images but still can’t fit into them. (It has, however, fuelled my obsession with shoes and accessories, where size doesn’t come into it.)
“Plus size” is supposed to answer the concerns of many body types, not just people like me who are technically overweight. It’s also about people who are tall, or slim but with large breasts, or slim but with a large derriere, etc. I wish the phrase hadn’t been turned into into a negative “you’re fat and should be ashamed!” mantra by some.
It’s good to see that someone like my fellow Australian Robyn Lawley, a size 16, is challenging the system and refusing to identify with “plus size” which is the technical classification for both designers and models, and she’s put her money with her mouth is and produced this swimwear line. She’s addressing the fact that 50 per cent of women wear a size 14 or larger, yet designers still cater to sizes 14 or smaller.
I hope that in time, it will not be cost prohibitive for designers to create collections with a larger range of sizes. Some are already doing it, such as Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, but I still wish the selection was more stylish. See my list of suggested brands and retailers in this post.
The photos here reflect Robyn Lawley’s first swimwear line – which is mostly pretty and sweet – and the upcoming Spring/Summer 2015 line, which is bolder. Apparently swimwear-related items such as kaftans and summer pants are being designed too.
All the best with the collection, Robyn!
So, what do you think? What’s your experience with the “plus size” terminology? Love it or hate it, or something in between? Leave a comment below.
Scroll through the full collection of photos here:
More photos of Robyn Lawley here:
- Robyn Lawley photo gallery
- Curve appeal: Belle Vere by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia June 2011
- Robyn Lawley by Holly Blake for Emporium Magazine 2011
- Robyn Lawley by Steven Chee for Cosmopolitan Australia Feb 2012
- Robyn Lawley by Steven Chee for Cosmopolitan Australia April 2012
- Robyn Lawley by Raphael Mazzucco for Vanity Fair Italia May 2012
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