Nike’s Plus-Size Mannequin Is NOT Promoting Obesity

After all, if they make tights in a larger size, why not show us what that size looks like on?

The Problem With The Term ‘Plus Size’

When I first heard that Aussie top model Robyn Lawley was featured in this year’s famous Sports Illustrated swimwear issue, I was really excited. But when I saw that nearly every article about it called her the first ‘plus size model’ to be featured in the magazine, my excitement turned into frustration, especially after seeing the actual pictures that made it into the issue.

RELATED: How skinny is too skinny?

Here’s the thing: It is no secret that Robyn Lawley is curvier than the average fashion model and while it is great that she is as successful as she is in a world of size 0 models, the problem is the fact that a fit, healthy woman that is 183cm tall and wears a size 10-12 is called “plus-size”. Not only is Robyn Lawley’s weight perfectly normal and healthy for a woman her height, but she also looks fit and slim in the pictures that made it into the Sports Illustrated issue. Her stomach is flat, her arms are toned, she even has a visible thigh gap! There are no bulges in sight whatsoever.

Robyn Lawley

So I am asking this: What kind of message is sent to young, impressionable girls if we call a beautiful, fit woman with a perfect bikini body ‘plus sized’? We are basically telling them that you have to be a size 6-8 in order to be “normal sized”, and if you want to be called skinny, good luck, you have to fit in sizes that belong in the children’s section. It’s a beauty standard that is hard to achieve and maintain if you are over the age of 13.

Robyn Lawley herself has said that she finds it “ludicrous” to be called plus-sized and that the Sports Illustrated team has never referred to her as that. So, as so often, it comes down to the media labelling someone in a way they shouldn’t. Robyn Lawley isn’t the only one struggling with the category ‘plus size’. Model Myla Dalbesio experienced the same media coverage when she starred in a Calvin Klein underwear campaign last year, now she writes about her experiences in her own column here.

It’s time that we stop labelling models as too skinny, too fat, plus size, normal size, and focus on beauty regardless of numbers on scales.

Robyn Lawley, plus size, model, Sports Illustrated, weightRobyn Lawley, Sports Illustrated, model, weight

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What Clothes To Avoid If You’re A Plus-Size Lady

Ok ladies, lets face it, not everyone is built like a supermodel. I mean seriously, how many of them do you actually see? Six foot plus, gorgeous and legs like a giraffe. More likely, you’ll see plenty of women like me, who shop in the plus-size section. Knowing what to avoid can save you a lot of time, money and heartache.

Latest trends

Just because designers have come up with something new, doesn’t always mean it’s going to be the best style for you. For example; swing tops. They stormed the shops and filled up most of the valuable space in plus sized isles and stores. Strangely, designers decided that plus sized women should wear tops that flared out at the hip! Sure, they looked great on women who needed to add emphasis there, but for those of us with nice, solid, child bearing hips, they were quite a poor style. They may have been long, super comfy and covered your butt, but they really accentuated the wrong area.

The stripes myth

A lot of plus size women are advised to stay away from stripes. That’s not necessarily true. They are an excellent way to draw attention to areas. So, if you are wearing tight fitting bottoms and want some attention brought to your top, having something with stripes will do that. Generally though, staying away from stripes head to toe is a good idea. If you do wear them, do it sparingly.

Short shorts and tops

Short tops are a no no if you have a bit of a tummy. When you team them up with tight fitting bottoms, they won’t do much for you. Having a bit of extra length will make you look taller, hide a muffin top and stretch you out a bit. Short shorts are much the same. Unless you have really good thighs, not many women can pull off wearing short shorts.

The Cinderella method

The Cinderella method is about getting it just right. When you apply that to clothing, it’s basically avoiding the wrong size. For example, when you are bigger, it can be very tempting to want to hide underneath really sloppy or baggy clothing. Muumuu dresses or ultra baggy tops can be very comfy at home, but limit their use there. They actually make women look much larger than they actually are. There is no shape to them and they draw attention to every inch of your body.

Alternately, if you have tight clothing from top to toe, it is going to look like you are spilling out of them. Some women get very hung up about going up a size, but if you need to, you will look better for it.

Best avoidance tip

A great way to decide if you should avoid a particular style, print, pattern or colour; jump online and checkout plus sized models wearing these clothes. Pick a lady with a figure similar to yours and see how they are photographing her in different types of clothing. As an example, models wearing swing tops are often photographed with their arms by their sides or tilted slightly to the side, rather than front on. This is done to hide how these tops accentuate the hips.

By Kim Chartres

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