Viva la difference: celebrate ALL women on mag covers
On Saturday I was just mooching about with my iPad (yes, we have a special relationship, my iPad and I) when I came across a Facebook post showing plus-size model Tara Lynn on the cover of February’s French Elle.
Tara’s actually an international superstar plus-size model (oh, and just so you know, I actually hate the term plus-size anything but I’m using it here in the context of the modelling industry, in which she is considered plus-sized, as in NOT size 8-10 Australian, the norm on mag covers).
She’s been on the cover of French Elle before. But this time Elle has called her … wait for it … THE BODY.
Which is all a bit refreshingly confusing. Here’s me thinking that OUR Elle Macpherson had trademarked those two words for herself back in the mid-80s walking up the beach with can of TAB cola in her hands (umm, can you still buy TAB?).
But no, Tara has been declared as THE BODY.
And I think that’s a GOOD thing.
This is not a size-ist thing. In fact anybody who knows me – or has worked with me as a personal stylist – knows I’m so the opposite. I am for all women. Every age, stage, shape and size.
Remember all the who-hah over the Myer Big is Beautiful fashion parade in Sydney last year? I wrote a post about it at the time and I stand by those thoughts.
Here’s a little snippet of what I had to say. (You may like to click on over to read the rest of it at your leisure):
The fashion industry is so far up its collective, non-existent bum that it’s completely lost sight of what it is there to do: sell clothes. It’s not only size 6 women who want to buy clothes either. Last time I looked, ALL women were keen to put on some form of clothing each time they stepped out the door. And most women I know actually want to feel good about themselves in those same clothes.
Oh boy, the view from my horse was indeed high. And still is.
I was cranky that so-called fashion writers showed little or no respect for the general clothes-buying public.
They and their editors are part of the collective web that is the fashion industry. A web that’s woven so tightly around designers who continue to insist that we all have the crazy ability to look at a size 8, 6ft tall model and have some idea of how the garment they’re wearing might look on us.
The everyday woman.
Now, when I say everyday woman – I’m talking about YOU and YOU and YOU. You are not a one-size-fits-all person. You are YOU. YOU are not me. We are different. And that’s a good thing.
So, when I see a different sized woman on the cover of a magazine, I do say GOOD on you. Not because it’s a BETTER size. But because it’s different from the size shown last month – or the one already in production for next month.
Right about now, I need to jump in and also say GOOD on you to Australia’s Madison magazine.
If you haven’t see this at the checkout of your local supermarket, then here’s a little look-see:
Yes, Madison has put Australian plus-size model Robyn Lawley on its cover (she’s pictured at the top of this post from inside Madison).
Robyn is a super busy model based in New York. She gets a stack of work and is well known in the US. She finds it really frustrating that she can’t be an ambassador for Australian designers overseas because their clothes don’t fit (she’s a size 14-16).
It’s infuriating,” she says, exasperated. “When I come home, I go to Paddington [in Sydney] and into all the little shops because I want to support Australian designers. The fact that some don’t go up to my size – and it’s the national average – is a slap in the face. And if they do, it sells out quickly. I think there’s a lot of fashion snobbery. It feels like they don’t want a size 14 or above wearing their clothes.” You can read more about Robyn here.
Two magazines – on opposite sides of the world – showcasing a different shape and size on their cover.
That’s got to be a step in the right direction, hasn’t it?
Yes both covers have
probably been airbrushed. I’m not saying we’ve got ALL the way there.
What I am saying – and thinking – is that how refreshing it is to mix things up a bit. For mag editors to sit in their offices and say, how about we do a cover that highlights the beauty of another shape of woman?
Imagine if they could look at 12 months of magazines in a year and put 12 completely different-shaped women on each cover.
Viva la difference, I say.
What say you?