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Plus Models – What is the Naked Truth Behind the Industry?

November 16, 2011 / 0 Comments

The recent Huffington Post entitled “Naked: Plus Models in Magazines” was very thought-provoking. In it, journalist Leona Palmer ponders why whenever plus models are featured in mainstream magazines, they are pictured nude or at least partially clothed.

Crystal Renn in Glamour Magazine

The answer is not straightforward, but Palmer outlines a number of possible reasons for the “risqué” nature of many photo shoots involving plus models. One suggestion is that, because fashion generally fixates on extremes, showing a clothed thin model and a semi-nude curvy model creates overt contrast. Another possible reason is that controversial or edgy content attracts advertisers, which are the bread and butter (rather than subscription rates) for magazines. Or, sadly, it could finally just be for shock value: a kind of “Oh my God, look at that, I can’t believe it,” sentiment, one plus model agent mourns.

Magazine editors and stylists also claim, Palmer says, that there simply aren’t enough plus-size designers and clothing samples available to outfit curvier models.  In the past few years, this has been less and less true. Our friend Aimee Cheshire of the New York-based plus-size fashion blog and shopping site, Madison Plus, says the designers are out there. She gets numerous requests to supply plus samples by contemporary designers (such as Anna Scholz) to magazines and television programs.

However, Aimee concedes, plus-size design houses often represent a smaller, independent niche within the fashion industry. They don’t always have the budget for multiple sets of samples. Many plus designers also are based outside of the U.S., and have a hard time rushing samples overseas in time to meet the often last-minute decisions of editors. This certainly has been the case for us at Anna Scholz.

Aimee Cheshire herself has begun working with a handful of plus-size designers outside of the U.S. to act as a showroom and press agent for their collections.  She says she is excited about the rapid growth in the past few years of a viable plus-size fashion industry. She’s hoping that young, talented designers will start filling the void in this market.

Read the full online article in Huffington Post

Tell us what you think: Why are so many plus models featured in various levels of undress in the media? Is this right?

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