Presenting the Fashion Size Debate FAIL Bingo Card!

I tend to be the more pessimistic plus blogger out there. I do apologise about that. While it’s been great to see large(r) models featured in a high fashion setting recently, the downside is it opens up the obesity debate to people who are notoriously shallow and judgemental… and man, does the discourse get real stupid. An hours’ worth of reading cost me an entire month’s worth of Sanity Watchers.

So I did the only thing that could keep me sane(r): I started compiling the most oft-repeated comments into a bingo card. Here’s the result – let me know when you get a full house! ;)

click for full size

There’s such a huge element of fear among these people – fear that they’ll lose their place on the perfect scale if we’re more exposed to attractive fat people, fear that they will become fat, fear of early death, fear of poverty. It’s ridiculous, because if they actually had an ounce of empathy, they’d see being fat, conversing with fat people and loving fat people is really not all that bad.

Incidentally, here’s where V got it exactly right. In their V Loves U Just The Way UR spread by Terry Tsiolis there are fat models, skinny models, short models, tall models and whatever else just goofing about and looking fabulous.

Image copyright V Magazine and Models.com

Image copyright V Magazine and models.com

See, this is the thing – we don’t want to ban thinner or taller models, or say that one type of body is ugly or wrong, which is what fashion fans are seemingly afraid of. We just want to join in the fun. Is that so wrong? Apparently, it is.

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21 Responses to “Presenting the Fashion Size Debate FAIL Bingo Card!”

  1. Frances Says:

    This is a brilliant post!

    Oh god, I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS see the “What about sizes 4 to 8?” comment whenever plus size models are mentioned. Then I put my face in my palm.

  2. Natalie Says:

    Yes Yes Yes!

  3. Katrin Says:

    Right, people always forget about the aspect that we just want everyone to be accepted and that everybody can feel beautiful and join the big whole fun thing in playing arround with fashion and so on…

  4. Eline Says:

    Oh my god, I can’t believe these “arguments”! Ugh, sometimes I really have to consciously stay away from the internet in order not to hate humankind as pathetic as that sounds XD

    As a society I think people will always want to have just ONE beauty ideal. And I guess that’s sort of understandable because everyone always wants something (unrealistic) to look up to but as a society that is continually evolving can’t we really see that diversity is okay too? I don’t know, this is all so complicated sometimes.

  5. StephanieDJL Says:

    Couldn’t agree more! The bingo card was amusing to read if completely accurate

  6. Tracy Says:

    Very accurate. I just saw four of these items on in the comments on the Burdastyle blog.

  7. Suburban Sweetheart Says:

    Great post.

  8. alegra Says:

    haha loving the bingo!
    happy 2010!
    xxx

  9. lunamorgan Says:

    I mostly agree with this, but as the blogger I was linked from said, presenting plus sized models in the nude IS a huge problem.

    It’s done again and again and rather than simply saying that the human form can be beautiful at any size, it displays overweight and obese bodies as sideshow fodder. Look at any magazine. You will see literally hundreds of traditional, thin models wearing clothing. While an ad might show a tasteful nude, the fashion spreads are about FASHION, not the side of the model. That is unless, of course, the model in question is overweight and this is another SIZE ARTICLE ABOUT PLUS SIZED MODELS, in which case, said model has about a 75% chance of being asked to take her clothes off. This isn’t about them being models. It’s about them being fetishized bodies, on display BECAUSE OF, not IN SPITE OF their non-conformity to stereotypical size and shape.

    It is a problem. It should be made note of. Nude bodies are not problematic. Obese/plus sized/overweight/plain different bodies are not problematic. But showcasing ONLY othered bodies in the nude in what is otherwise a publication based around fashion is problematic because it says A) It is not worth our time to order sample sizes for larger models, B) Larger models are okay for editorials about size, but not for displaying fashionable clothing, and C) Fat women can be beautiful, but not the same kind of beautiful as thing women; fat women are good for art nudes, but fat women are not pretty or sexy, fat women exist to allow us to be edgy and do unexpected articles about body image.

    • thepocketrocket Says:

      I probably wasn’t entirely clear on that one. I do actually agree with you and the original blogger for your reasons, and it’s a question I ask myself (and one commenter on a fashion article got it exactly right – they’re naked because there’s no bloody sample clothes around that fit).

      What my spot on the bingo card was for was the people who ask that question simply because they don’t like being confronted with fat bodies being shallow dickheads as they are. Sorry for the confusion!

      • lunamorgan Says:

        Sweet, just wanted to clarify. Yeah, the sample thing sucks but I also go, “Okay. You’re totally paying this model less for the simple fact that she’s fat. Drop $500 on some clothes for the poor girl, damn.”

        Truth about the crap people who have issues with fat bodies, that’s a whole different and depressing subject.

      • thepocketrocket Says:

        No worries – I actually didn’t think about the fat positive among us asking the same question when I made the card! But I do totally agree with you and it pisses me off as well – though I’m trying to be positive about any exposure given to models outside of the norm. It’s hard though!

        Thanks for your thoughtful comment, I really appreciate it :D

  10. Michelle Says:

    Found you via Shapely Prose. This is awesome, and I’m glad I have another body-positive fashion blog to read now. :)

    • thepocketrocket Says:

      Aww, thank you so much! (And thank you Tracy for linking me, if you see this) There are loads of fat fashion blogs around at the moment, check out the links as they’re all awesome :D

  11. wriggles Says:

    ….fear that they’ll lose their place on the perfect scale if we’re more exposed to attractive fat people,

    Yep, that’s what I’m hearing, dressed up as what about the ‘healthy girls’.

    As for nudity and fat models, I’d have to do a percentage survey of thin that are clothed or nude before I could make a comparison with fat models.

    But it’s true that the media love to disrobe fat people on TV, with lots of lingering close ups. They don’t leave the children out either which I find the most despicable of all.

  12. Marvelous Monday! : Wicked Whimsy Says:

    […] with some that make me want to rip my hair out.) Here’s my favorites: at A Fluffy Blog, the fashion size debate bingo card, and Shapely Prose’s […]

  13. bingo Says:

    It is all about fantasy vs reality – the problem lies in the fantasy is damaging and hurtful to many people. As someone who has struggled with their weight most of their life I have finally arrived at an acceptance – albeit it has taken me 40 years nearly to arrive here. I see my teenage daughter struggling with anorexia and it makes me so mad that society places this sort of pressure on people to conform to what is for many an unrealistic goal. BtW loved the bingo card :)

  14. emmme Says:

    yep, v’s “luv u just for u” shoot of short, tall, thick and thin was gre–oh, everybody’s still white…
    sigh.
    i guess that’s another issue. all the “high fashion” spreads of plus models are looking rather homogenous. there’s not even a token gesture towards Toccara or other plus models of color. what, we can’t get more than one thing right at a time?

    • thepocketrocket Says:

      Yeah. I thought I mentioned it on the post, sorry. But it sucks just as much if not more than the whole size debate.

      Plus, all the male models had perfect physiques, which sort of defeated the point. :(

  15. Lola Says:

    big rant, kinda related, kinda just ranty:

    love your blog, love. this is why i’ve given up with following mainstream fashion. no-one fits into the prepostrous mould- i’d much rather look at this blog than a celeb/fashion magazine. i’m a short, black, afro-haired, eczema covered big lipped/bummed lady, so should, according to anna wintour, hate myself. once we realise that its not meant for us, of for anyone who cares for our wellbeing, the better. there’s a magnificent internet revolution where we are all represented and perhaps more importantly, where creativity reigns.

    i don’t know when we stopped seeing models as being essentially clothes rails to the height of perfection? some designer or fashion editor likes her, we gotta look like her too? bullshit.

  16. Deena Says:

    Great post! I obviously need to pay more attention though as I’ve not seen this until today- March 29th!

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