Fashion

Why big is not always beautiful

Why big is not always beautiful

Models on the catwalk at the Myer Big is Beautiful fashion show.

Big is beautiful but fat should not be in fashion. That statement, made by The Australian’s fashion editor Damien Woolnough last week, sparked fierce debate in The Weekly office.

It started with Myer’s plus-size runway show at Fashion Festival Sydney, showcasing their size 16-24 clothes.

While most of the models in the show were professional plus-size models who looked healthy — over 6ft tall, size 16 and marathon runners — some of the ‘everyday women’ competition winners walking in the show were clearly not.

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It has got us thinking. What exactly does healthy look like? Do overweight models send just as dangerous a message about health as their stick-thin counterparts with protruding ribcages?

At the Weekly we celebrate women of all sizes every day. While it’s easy to say that we celebrate ‘plus-size’ women, that sparks another debate.

Plus-size compared to what? Of course the plus-size market deserves to be represented — after all, nearly 60

But is celebrating the overweight adding another double standard to an already confused fashion industry?

Fashion media has us all so bewildered as to what is normal, what is healthy or unhealthy; I don’t think any of us really know anymore.

We are quick to condemn anyone who promotes models that are too skinny on the runway or in their fashion pages, and we are taught that big is beautiful and that curves should be celebrated.

But at what point do we stop promoting Australian health and start endorsing what has been called an obesity epidemic in this country?

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At the end of the day, fashion should not have to be disregarded just because the model, whether she is a size 8 or a 16, doesn’t represent your own body shape.

Representing, and therefore promoting, the extremes is not healthy (physically and not to mention emotionally), for any of us.

Your say: Do you think obese models are just as dangerous as super-skinny ones?

Video: Critic slams plus-sized models

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