When a model wears a size higher than a 10 or 12, she is usually considered "plus size," even though the average woman wears a size 14. But a group of activists is hoping to change that, for the sake of women everywhere.
Several models in Australia are banding together around #droptheplus, a campaign to ban the term "plus size" from the modeling world and the retail world. They were spurred to action after seeing several thin and trim models get slapped with the label in so-called "body positive" ad campaigns. In general, plus-size models are far thinner than the typical plus-size customer.
Robyn Lawley, who wears a size 12, was hailed as the first plus-size model to grace the pages of Sports Illustrated, but even she was reluctant to embrace the label. "I don't know if I consider myself as a plus-size model or not," Lawley told Time. "I just consider myself a model because I'm trying to help women in general accept their bodies. "
And that's a sentiment that many models are embracing. Stefania Ferrario, the face of Dita von Teese's lingerie line, called out the modeling industry for calling her "plus" size, when she's likely thinner than the average woman:
If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. In most "plus size" clothing, the numbers just go up from 12, so there's no need to distinguish it with a term. By adding "plus size," women with larger dress sizes are siloed into a group, and considered an "other" instead of who they are: women, like anyone in any size.
"We are all women. Many shapes and sizes," Ajay Rochester, the former host of The Biggest Loser in Australia, wrote on Instagram. "It's not us vs. them. We are sisters!" After she posted her photo, she shared images of women writing similar messages, encouraging the world to drop labels.
The result has been a viral campaign under the hashtag #droptheplus, encouraging people to see models as models, and women as women.
If the campaign works, it can help women focus on what really matters: their self-confidence. "Sexy is a state of mind, not a dress size," Ferrario wrote on Twitter. "The sexiest thing anyone can possess is confidence. Don't let society dictate to you what's beautiful, embrace what makes you different."
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