Where does Plus Size start and ‘Normal’ size end?

Plus size models are something that are being embraced – they’re representing the average size of a woman in the UK, a size 16. Personally I’m all for this, I think it’s helpful to see how pieces will look on a body size similar to your own. I don’t think it goes as far as to ‘promote’ that being Plus Size is cool and healthy, it simply acknowledges that this is happening. I wrote a post last year about Debenhams starting to use larger models and received some comments via social media that were making out as if I was promoting people being overweight and unhealthy. Not everyone with a healthy lifestyle is a size 10 and nor is everyone that is unhealthy a size 32. I think people need to stop being so narrow minded and release that everybody’s body is different. Yes, there are huge numbers of women in the UK who are that overweight it is a hindrance on their health. According to the Telegraph it stands at 1 in 4 women aged 18 to 24 – the worst in Europe. It’s a staggering figure, but again, I don’t think being plus size is promoted through the use of mannequins.

My question is when does plus size start and ‘normal’ size end? I see lots of people branding themselves as plus size bloggers – what is the criteria for this? I’m a size 14-16 – does this make me plus size? Elle magazine recently branded Calvin Klein model Myla Dalbesio a size 14 model as plus size. Whilst Calvin Klein received the back lash of thousands of unhappy Twitter users, stating that Myla clearly wasn’t plus size, it was in fact Elle who used the label. It was outrageous that the label have been used, I’m aware that the range CK released had been made to fit larger sizes than usual, but that doesn’t make it a plus size range and they didn’t brand it as one in the first place, did they?

What is the criteria for someone that is plus size? Is it the girl wearing a size 16 and eating McDonalds 4 times a week, or the one that is a size 20 who eats healthily and goes to the gym 4 times a week? We are all different shapes and sizes with different metabolisms etc, why does society feel the need to judge and put you in a box?

How can we distinguish where plus size starts, and do we NEED to? Do we need separate ranges for anyone over a size 16/18/20 (wherever plus size actually starts), can’t we just have ONE range in store? It’s a known fact that when mannequins were first used to sell clothes, the average size of a woman represented that of the mannequin – should that have been smaller? Was it seen to be promoting an unhealthy body image then? Why is it so outrageous for brands to increase the size of them based on the size of women?

Does anyone else think this whole Plus Size debate as boring? I’ve seen loads of people saying that overweight people are a drain on the NHS – but so are people who drink and require their stomach to be pumped, smokers who sadly get lung cancer and skiing enthusiasts who decide to do a black without a helmet.

WHO CARES ABOUT PLUS SIZE – people should ignore the fact that others may be ‘fat’ and focus on themselves. Everyone is driven by different things, be that going to the gym, enjoying a take-away on a Friday night or spending every penny you earn on clothes. Everyone is a different shape and size and nobody knows what conditions the ‘fatty’ next to them has. In fact, I don’t think it has ever occurred to some people that many women who are plus size are actually happy with their bodies and don’t want to lose weight to impress you.


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  1. Totally agree! I have no idea what counts as ‘plus size’. I don’t even think about clothes sizes I just guess and try it on! Sizes come up so differently in shops and even the style can affect it. And some people may have teeny waists and a big booty, or big boobs, or some people could have a teeny bum or some people are just straight up and down so surely what size people are changes anyway? I have clothes in my closet that range from a size 4(!) to a size 12. Quite a difference there! I worked with someone who told me that if she didn’t fit into the size 8 of something, she would never try on a bigger size or buy it. Cos she just IS a size 8 apparently. I thought that was mad! xo


  2. I don’t even know what size I am any more! I wear what feels comfortable, whether its a 10,12,14,16. My wardrobe ranges from size to size. I think the whole ‘plus size’ is ridiculous. They need to get rid of it and just use the numbers.
    Fab post Beth!
    Hannah Rosalie xox


  3. I think the whole CK thing was blown out of proportion over here due to the sizing differences, she’s a size 14 there but a UK size 10 and so many people were kicking off over the thought of a size 10 model being plus size. The world cannot please everyone, and I don’t think there should be a definite number. I agree, why can’t there just be one range?

    Just liking ‘fat shaming’ we shouldn’t skinny shame either. We shouldn’t shame at all but society does. I think promoting “healthy” is the only moderately acceptable thing to do, but then that has its limits too I guess.

    Fab post Beth, it’s interesting to see an unbiased look at the issue.

    Laura xx


  4. I’ll be honest here no matter what size model some piece of clothing is on if I like it I will buy it and it doesn’t go through my mind what size the model is I don’t care. Also if I try the clothing on I might not like it and thats nothing to do with the model wearing it I just might not suit it. I don’t know why it is made a big deal about model sizes I take no notice it doesn’t put me off either way. We need to stop labeling people and just get on with our own lives. I think we need to stop valuing ourselfs on our waist size and be happy in our own skin. Great post xox



  5. This post has really struck a cord with me. I have always considered myself plus size. Im a size 18 but I am also 5ft 11”

    Plus size labelling does not help with ladies (or men’s) self esteem and as you say the average size is a 16 so anything less than this should be considered in the same way (minus size maybe).

    Thanks for this xxx


  6. Let’s go further, how about – who cares about size altogether? Clothes are meant to FIT, end of story. Doesn’t matter what the label says. I’m for models of all shapes and sizes and for clothing styles not being targeted to specific size ranges.


  7. Well said, the world needs to get over this one size fits all mentality and embrace everyone for who they are. Plus sizes shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of, especially when you have girls especially who are at the polar opposite end of the scale and are starving themselves.


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