For: Be Plus Magazine
By: Leslie Velázquez - Blogger
The fashion design students at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) are in for a treat this semester. Veteran Plus Size Model Emme (Melissa Aronson) and her Alma Mater, Syracuse University, have joined forces and launched “Fashion Without Limits”, an initiative to include sizes 12 and up in their design curriculum. This initiative will be in a form of a competition where students will have the opportunity to win $500 and a chance to design an evening dress for the model to wear at a red carpet event. And in Toronto, the Ryerson University recently had their panel about diversity in fashion called Diversity Now, in which panellists with the likes of renowned bloggers Marie Denee from The Curvy Fashionista, Idiosyncratic Fashionistas and writers of the fashion and lifestyle website for bigger men Chubstr, talked about the importance of diversity in fashion design and marketing. Over the past few years we have seen a rise in the plus size industry and community. To us plus size ladies this news should come with a sense of accomplishment. New plus size fashion designers are emerging, magazines targeted to full figure fashion are being created, plus size boutiques are opening in every corner and popular fashion chain stores like H&M (which recently launched their H&M+ selection) are getting the picture that we are not all a size 0-10. None of this would have happened without the effort of those who are willing to stand up and talk about how important diversity is in the fashion industry, this is particularly true in the U.S., given that the average size is a 14 (Business Insider). The fashion industry is changing.
Every day, we see the efforts of the media to create an unrealistic picture of what girls are supposed to look like (may it be for marketing purpose or plain rudeness). Young girls are targeted in a most disturbing way, extremely photo shopped pictures are everywhere and eating disorders keep rising (ANAD.org). But initiatives like these are opening up the eyes and ears of people everywhere. Targeting the core of the fashion industry, where it all begins: school. This gives fashion students (which sometimes they themselves cannot fit into the clothes they design) the creative freedom to work in an industry that is in constant change and is no longer being limited to smaller sizes. It’s not only about the clothes or the fashion. It’s about self acceptance and realizing that not fitting into a size 0 is OK.
So yes, things are changing. I have seen the changes from my teenage years to now (my not so teenage years). Never would I have imagined that I could walk in to a “regular” size store and buy clothes that I liked in my size. Let’s all get rid of the stigma of what is considered “perfect” and accept that you can look and feel great regardless of what size you are. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We are professionals, mothers, sisters, wives and overall regular beautiful women. Size does not determine our worth. We are here, we exist, and we’re showing the world.
See you next time beauties!
Photo-shopped Jennifer Lawrence