The plus-size mod­els dom­i­nat­ing the fash­ion in­dus­try

The in­clu­sion of plus-size mod­els in main­stream me­dia is dom­i­nat­ing the fash­ion in­dus­try and we love it.

Sunday Tribune - - FASHION - MPHO RANTAO

THEY have the smile, con­fi­dence and the look of a model. They are plus-size mod­els who are tak­ing over.

The in­clu­sion of plus-size mod­els into the main­stream mod­el­ling in­dus­try and fash­ion la­bels be­came a grow­ing trend in 2015 af­ter Ash­ley Graham be­came the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Sports Il­lus­trated’s Swim­suit Is­sue in a two-piece bikini.

Al­though Graham was al­ready known in the world of mod­el­ling for plus-size fash­ion brands, the ma­jor mag­a­zine cover el­e­vated her into the spotlight, and she un­in­ten­tion­ally be­came a spokesper­son for plus-size mod­els.

Graham’s ma­jor mag­a­zine cover be­gan to dis­prove the stereo­types and myths that women who were size 10 and over could not wear lux­u­ri­ous main­stream fash­ion la­bels or grace ma­jor mag­a­zine cov­ers un­less they were suc­cess­ful ac­tors.

Upon the suc­cess of Graham’s Sports Il­lus­trated cover, the sports mag­a­zine made his­tory once more when they fea­tured their first black plus-size model, named Tabria Ma­jors. Ma­jors is also known in the United

States for fea­tur­ing on web­site cat­a­logues for plus-size fash­ion brands and main­stream brands such as For­ever 21plus, but with Sports Il­lus­trated be­ing her first ma­jor cover is­sue, it also pushed her into the spotlight for be­ing a plus-size model who also had a no­table six-pack.

Both Graham and Ma­jors el­e­vated the sta­tus of be­ing a curvy woman in the United States, and they helped to de­stroy the stigma sur­round­ing plus-size women of be­ing un­healthy and over­weight. Other Amer­i­can plus-size mod­els who have bro­ken barriers since then in­clude Tess Hol­l­i­day, who be­came the first size 22 (South Africa size 44) model in the fash­ion in­dus­try.

In South Africa, the pres­ence of plus-size mod­els is still quite min­i­mal, with a num­ber of plus-size women draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from in­ter­na­tional mod­els and in­flu­encers, or from lo­cal in­flu­encers such as Le­sego Le­gob­ane (@Thick­leey­once), Gqom artist Bu­siswa and plus-size fash­ion blog­gers

Lala Tsha­bal­ala (known as @ Plus­sizeisme) and Meg from the blog Mind The Curves (@ mindthe­curvesza).

In a coun­try like South Africa, where the av­er­age size of a woman is be­tween 34 and 40, the pres­ence of plus-size mod­els mod­el­ling for brands be­sides Donna or Mi­la­dys is still ab­sent. The rise of the plus-sized model brings hope not only to women but also to young girls who are ex­posed to the “old-fash­ioned” so­ci­etal beauty stan­dards that have been around for decades.

The love and sup­port of women such as Thick Leey­once, Ash­ley Graham along with the

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