Why do we still label people as "plus size"?
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Within the fashion industry, there is a constant categorisation of body types: women are slim or curvy; men are broad or boyish; bodies are standard or “plus-size”. Recent news in the media suggests that “plus-size” male models are now gaining recognition in the industry, following the growing inclusion of female “plus-size” models in fashion. Male model Ben Whit is technically “plus-size” according to the industry definition. He has recently been signed to Bridge Models, making him one of the first official “plus-size” male models in the UK. His signing reflects the growing acceptance of a more diverse range of male body types in the industry. It is promising to hear of Whit being signed to a modelling agency, but it is nonetheless disappointing that the label “plus-size” remains seemingly immovable. When earlier this year US Glamour magazine released a plus-size edition, they attempted to show acceptance of larger body sizes. Instead, the magazine received backlash for describing women as “plus-size” who do not identify as such, highlighting issues with the use of the phrase.
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