Models have always been thin and tall because clothes look better on them.
Damien Woolnough, please.
The simple fact is that clothes look better on beautiful, slender young women.
Georgina Safe, please.
HOW on earth do you define better?
Have you ever taken a woman shopping for clothes, stood in the change room with them as they poked and prodded bits of their bodies they didn’t like?
Have you ever sought out and found a dress, a top or a pair of jeans that makes the same woman forget about the prodding, brings a spark to her eyes and makes her confidence outwardly soar?
It’s in those moments that I truly realise the power of fashion. And it’s not size-ist.
This is the industry at its coal face. Actual customers in stores. Buying.
Seeking out a new work outfit, a dress for their daughter’s wedding or a whole new wardrobe to reflect their new lifestyle.
These are not women who have gawked at six foot tall glamazons strutting down a catwalk and thought, gee, I might “aspire” to wear that garment because I SO can imagine how it will look on me.
Not on your front-row fashion life.
You want to know what these women are REALLY thinking?
There’s absolutely NO way I can wear that.
The fashion industry is so far up its collective, non-existent bum that it’s completely lost sight of what it is there to do: sell clothes.
And guess what? It’s not only size 6 women who want to buy clothes either.
Last time I looked, ALL women were keen to put on some form of clothing each time they stepped out the door.
And most women I know actually want to feel good about themselves in those same clothes.
Which is why I will always be a champion of labels which make fashionable clothing accessible to women of all shapes and sizes – from petite through to voluptuous.
Who says that just because you are a certain shape or size that you should be excluded from embracing the latest trends?
No, not every trend will suit every person but dressing to disguise the bits you’d rather hide and flaunt the bits you’d like to put on show is the key to a confident style, no matter if you’re a size 8 or 18; a 4 or 24.
That’s not something inspired by a catwalk show. It’s something that comes from “playing” in a change room and having the confidence to try something new.
(It’s why I post regular Model and Me posts, to help my readers see how a garment looks on someone other than a size 6. I don’t say I look better than the model, just different.)
The more fashion labels that embrace this concept and offer on-trend styles for everyone, the better the choice and competition within an industry that over the past three years has seriously suffered from buyers’ remorse.
It’s not about arguing about the apparent health of a catwalk model. It’s about instilling a confidence in a woman that may otherwise prevent her from leading her best possible life.
Hats off to you Leona Edmiston and to these labels I featured recently on my blog. And kudos to models such as Robyn Lawley, Ljubenka Milunovic and Fiona Falkiner for offering more Australian women the chance to “imagine” themselves in a current fashion look.
Ignore the industry naysayers and keep delivering what women of Australia are looking for – accessible fashion for all.
Disclosure: I am a size 14-16 average height Australian woman who’s always been fashion obsessed. I eat a diet that is healthy and balanced. Balanced by a champagne or three on a Friday night, that is. My thyroid is out of whack giving me the metabolism of a slug my but my cholesterol levels are perfect. I love walking and bad dancing to ’80s and ’90s music but an intense gym program makes me sick – literally. In my job as a personal stylist, I’ve helped women from size 6 to 26 find their individual style and feel fabulous about it.
Post update: BELLA model management’s director Chelsea Bonner responds to The Australian Newspaper obesity claims at the Myer Big is Beautiful show.
Organizers of the Myer Big is Beautiful show on Tuesday August 23 booked 13 professional models from Bella Model Management to appear in their show. All models provided by the agency are in their healthy weight range, as is agency policy of providing healthy realistic sized models from size 10 to size 18.
No model represented by Bella Model Management is classified “obese” by any Australian health standard testing tool and all models must be healthy to be considered for representation by Bella Model Management. Of course, the BMI tool has varying results as muscle mass and bone structure must be taken into account, and our models who wear a size 16 to 18 are over 6ft tall where common sense is also applied.
We have models who are personal trainers, rock climbers, pilate’s instructors and marathon runners who may not rate minimum BMI results yet are clearly in amazing shape.
Model Tara Laughton – size 16 – whose photograph has run alongside these obesity headlines in many publications, is one of our fittest models, having a resting heart rate of 55bpm she competed in the Sydney City To Surf 14km run on August 14 finishing in 156 minutes. It is totally irresponsible that her image be held up as an unreasonable ideal of women’s health.
We a greatly concerned about obesity as we are about emaciation. We represent models who reflect the 80% of Australian women who exist between these extremes and we are passionate advocates for women’s health and self esteem.
The remaining women included in the event were not professional models but everyday women who won the exciting opportunity to walk along side professional models – plus size models – during the show. This opportunity was offered as a part of a prize by Myer Department Stores’ Big Is Beautiful competition which was open to all women sized between 16 and 24 and is representitive of the main customer of this department store.
To use the word “obese” to describe any of the women involved in Tuesday’s show, professional model or competition winner, without having the statistics of each is ignorant, and a blatant attempt to cash in on the “controversy currency” and grab headlines. An ill-informed position usually reserved for more sensationalist publications.
We are proud of all of our healthy realistic sized models who walked in the show, and are especially proud of the “everyday women” competition winners who joined them. These everyday mums, teachers and students showed tremendous courage to do something they are completely untrained for – to a women of any size would have been overwhelming challenge.
For more on this subject, head on over to and read this brilliant post on Sugar Coat It: There are no REAL women. Just WOMEN.
Regular Fab Friday programming will be back next week. I was just too fired up to ignore this. What do you think?