Style & Beauty

#DropThePlus And 7 Other Opinions On The Term 'Plus-Size'

Australian model Stefania Ferrario and Australian actress and author Ajay Rochester have been campaigning against the term "plus size" for weeks. The duo believe that the label is both counterproductive and harmful to young girls' self esteem.

According to Ferrario, models like her, who are over a US size 4, are considered "plus size" in the industry. "I do NOT find this empowering," the model wrote on her Instagram account. "I'm NOT proud to be called 'plus,' but I AM proud to be called a 'model,' that is my profession!"

Ferrario and Rochester have been outspoken on social media, posting their views to Twitter and Instagram, but they are not the first industry insiders to protest the term. Similarly, models and executives alike have defended the label's existence. Check out seven more folks who have made statements for and against the label, thereby challenging the fashion world's notoriously narrow definition of beauty.

Isaac Mizrahi: "I don't like segregation, I like incorporation."
Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images
During an interview with HuffPost Live, Mizrahi expressed his disinterest in what he called the "segregation" that plus-size shoppers and models experience. "I don't want to speak to a plus-sized woman differently than I speak to a woman," he said, adding, "I don't like segregation, I like incorporation, I like integration. If you're going to do clothes, you need to do them in a whole size range."
Tanesha Awasthi of Girl With Curves: Bloggers should be labeled as bloggers.
Steve Jennings / Getty Images
In an interview with Who What Wear, Awasthi spoke about the future of plus-size. As a blogger, she mentioned her "frustration" with being labeled as a "plus-size blogger." She said, "One day I hope the blogging community at large will recognize fashion bloggers as bloggers and not lump us into size categories."
Hayley Hasselhoff: "Calling it 'plus size' doesn't do it justice."
Getty Images
Hasselhoff is no stranger to the runway, having walked British Plus-Size Fashion Weekend in February 2014. In response to other international plus-size fashion weekends, Hasselhoff showed her support, noting that it shouldn't be polarizing. "At the end of the day, it just means 'curvy,'" she said of the phrase, and she also adds, "That's why I think the word 'plus-size' in the industry is very different from people's mind view of what 'plus-size' really should mean."

The model acknowledged that the British Plus-Size Fashion Weekend is good in showing a diverse set of models, but noted that all runways should be on-par with the major catwalks shown in New York, London and around the globe. "Calling it 'plus size' doesn't do it justice," she said, adding that "It's about women with curves, and women of all shapes and sizes. I just hope one day (events like this) will get the same respect."
Ivan Bart, IMG Models Senior Vice President and Managing Director: "We want to be an ageless, raceless, weightless agency."
Cindy Ord / Getty Images
IMG made news when they added models like Ashley Graham and Julie Henderson to its roster. Though these women were traditionally pegged as "plus-size," IMG made the revolutionary choice to keep the models in line with other talents, such as Gisele Bundchen. Bart told Cosmopolitan, "We want to be an ageless, raceless, weightless agency," and added, "We just want to represent the best people in the industry."
Ashley Graham: "I am a model, and I happen to be curvy."
Michael Stewart / Getty Images
As an IMG-represented model, Graham has definitely made waves in the industry. Last year she told The Huffington Post, "At the end of the day, I know who I am. I am a model, and I happen to be curvy. She acknowledged that she considers herself as a model, and nothing else. Later, she went on to say, "If you have to categorize me as curvy or plus-size, that's fine."
Evans, UK retailer: "Why should the category be any different from petite?"
John Phillips / Getty Images
London Fashion Week always ends in a bang. But, last September, UK-based plus-size brand, Evans debuted their Design Collective for Evans collection on the runway. The head of the retailer's parent company, Arcadia Group, told Women's Wear Daily, "You can't be defensive about it, or apologize about [plus-size fashion]. Why should the category be any different from petite?"
Nikki Gloudeman, co-editor of "Forget the label altogether."
Nikki Gloudeman
Gloudeman penned an essay against the use of "plus-size," and made the point that its use connotes people as "directly at odds with what society has fallaciously and damningly peddled as 'desirable.'" After reviewing different synonyms of the phrase, like curvy, she determined that there shouldn't even be a describing term for different shapes. "Forget the label altogether and stop trying to call women anything other than what they are: human beings inhabiting the body they've been given," Gloudeman said.
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