As waistbands continue to expand across the world, fashion designers are beginning to take notice.
In the mid 90’s came the trend of the waif model: one that was extremely skinny and had no curves. Fast-forward almost 20 years later and plus size models such as Crystal Renn and Emme are gracing the covers of magazines and even the runway.
Renn’s weight has been fluctuating for years now but it is only now, as a full-figured model that she is receiving high praise from the fashion world. She started out a 14 year old who was told she would have to lose 1/3 of her total body weight and soon developed anorexia nervosa. At that size though, she was not happy and so she eventually gained back almost 70 pounds before entering back into the world that caused her illness.
Because of the confidence given to her by her then boyfriend, Gregory Vrecenak, Renn decided to try modeling again, but in a different market. She went back to her former agency, Ford Models, and was re-marketed to designers as a plus size model. The amount of offers that were coming in was so unexpected.
According to Renn, “Being beautiful has nothing to do with dress size.”
And with that attitude success soon followed. She is now gracing the covers of Vogue magazines across the world as well as filling up the pages in editorials of numerous other magazines. In addition to her print recognition, she also headed down the runway for Chanel, Gautier, and others. Without the weight gain, many often wonder if Renn would have become as in demand as she is now, but for her, it’s about the health.
Even Victoria’s Secret, the household name known for their ‘Bombshells’ and ‘Angels’ now employs a ‘curvier’ model, Kate Upton. Although she’s a far cry from plus size, her body is a throwback to the days of when lingerie and swimsuit models used to be all about the curves.
For the company, this comes at a perfect time, as they have recently been ridiculed for the scary skinny figures of Candice Swanpoel and Alessandra Ambrosio. The idea of Victoria’s Secret using a ‘curvier’ model for advertisements and in their catalogue is a positive thing.
Their catalogue can be found in almost every home in America and therefore is a ‘thinspiration’ to impressionable girls everywhere to become thin. With Kate Upton now gracing their pages, with real boobs, a big butt and curvy body, she would make a great role model for young girls.
Kim Kardashian, although not a role model for girls, has struggled with her weight because of the ideals of women portrayed in magazines. In a recent interview for the examiner, Kim Kardashian weighed in on body imagine and the pressure of the media.
Despite being criticized about her weight, she said, “I never aspired to be a size zero.”
It took her a long time to overcome that insecurity because that was the only representation of ‘pretty’ that she saw in the media. Now, at 30, she feels more comfortable in her own skin. Although she has been photographed in ways that shows off her cellulite and other imperfections, she makes it a point to not to let it bother her.
The entertainment and fashion industry are finally catching on to the fact that women do not like super skinny models and actresses but overall, will we see more change? In the future we can expect to see both sides of the spectrum but will we ever see magazines without skinny models? Only time will tell.