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What is “plus size”?

By Kiki Schmit

Glamour Magazine released its’ first “plus size” issue titled ‘Chic At Any Size,’ featuring ‘four women who inspire us.’ Glamour is referring to model Ashley Graham, singer Adele, and comedic actresses Melissa McCarthy and Amy Schumer. However courageous and encouraging the special edition issue is- including the cover story ‘super-chic ideas to help you hit it [fashion] out of the ballpark’…’courtesy of’…’stylish women sizes 12 to 22,’ is meant to be, it has offended people and called into question the idea of what ‘plus-size’ really means.

Glamour Magazine quotes that plus size in the fashion industry is considered anything above a size 12. Plus Model Magazine says the majority of plus-size models are between size 6 and size 14. However, it seems that both Glamour magazine and Plus Model Magazine are misguided because the average American woman wears between sizes 12-14.

Amy Schumer, featured in the special edition issue, was not aware of Glamour Magazine featuring her in the issue until it was published. When she learned that she was featured as one of the inspiring plus- sized women, she had mixed feelings. In an Instagram post, she addressed @glamourmag “I think there’s nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women. Plus size is considered size 16 in America. I go between a size 6 and an 8.” Amy stated that she worried that the magazine sent the wrong message to young girls saying “Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are not cool glamour not glamorous.”

Glamour’s attempt at inspiring body positivity featuring plus-size models may have gotten lost in the controversy of what plus size actually means. Some celebrities are speaking out and creating campaigns to fight back against the misperceptions of what real bodies look like. Stars from Jennifer Lawrence to Lorde, from Reality star Whitney Way Thore, to comedian Amy Pohler; women in the public eye are challenging the importance of the thin-ideal and showing that people are “chic” at any size.

  • What message does it send to be called plus size? Is it positive or negative? Why?
  • Are men called plus size? Or is this an issue targeted at women? Why do you think so?

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