Sports Illustrated is featuring a plus-size swimsuit ad in their 2015 swimsuit issue, and on the heels of this announcement, the popular (among men) magazine has revealed that they are also including a plus-size model in their editorial spread. Robyn Lawley (below left), a size 12 model, will be the first plus-size model to appear in the pages of the sports rag. Admittedly, there have been curvy models before such as Kate Upton, who has appeared on their cover three times. But none have been dubbed ‘plus size.’
I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t take a sartorial sleuth to recognize what is and is not a plus-size model. And I believe Lawley can hardly be called plus, curvy maybe, but plus? I have to wonder where the industry gets the notion that a size 12 is plus size considering most major retailers for curvier ladies such as Lane Bryant and Eloquii, cater to sizes 14+ and retailers for ‘average’ sized shoppers typically cut off their sizing at 12, although some have extended their sizes to 16. Ashley Graham (above right), who will be the model in the swimsuitsforall ad in the magazine qualifies as plus-size in my opinion, since she wears a size 16.
The debate on what constitutes a plus size model has raged on for a while, but when you hear so many concerns with young women struggling to fit sizes that seem unrealistic like 00 and 2 – and that ridiculous thigh-gap controversy – one has to wonder if the size ceiling that the fashion and modeling industries have capped for models is setting a standard for impressionable young women who fear being referred to as ‘plus size.’ What are your thoughts on the plus size model and ad in Sports Illustrated?