If we could just stop the old #droptheplus debate for one hot second then perhaps we could all get on with some work for a change!
While the fashion industry is heralding H&M’s ‘bold and brave’ move to use plus size models in their new season campaigns – both Ashley Graham and Katy Syme have landed roles in the new seasons advertising shots – both there for their modelling ability rather than being noted as the token plus girl – the idea that one campaign – from a brand known with the worst sizing on the high street seems nothing short of laughable.
Is it testament to both these girls abilities that they have managed to show H&M that they can use a model above a size 8 without them losing their business – yes – and on that we should all cheer. As ironic as it seems I’m sure this idea wasn’t passed through lightly, I’m sure there was much debate about the pros and cons of having a size 14-18 girl in the images and there were probably plenty in the way who thought this was nuts. So small win yes, but a win non the same.
And what about Ashley Graham for H&M Studio – while this by no way means that we can ‘drop the plus’ and I’m fairly sure, size sexicurvilicious is still never going to fly – I am excited that H&M Studio WILL be available in plus size – and this point has largely been missed by naysayers focussed soley on terminology. As far as SLiNK is aware this is the FIRST time any special edition line has been worked into plus and that is a huge step forward for the brand and the high street.
This one campaign does not mean that we don’t need plus size – we have always maintained that the term plus size when discussing fashion can only go when all brands make all sizes and this of course is a long way off. Ashley in one campaign may mean she has managed to start crossing over into the mainstream and if this means that more brands start (and I mean start because the process will not happen over night) to cross over into using more diverse body shapes in advertising that is a good thing. If it means that more lines are extended into plus size then that too is a positive side effect.
So while we can’t and shouldn’t be dropping the plus, we should be excited that the possibility of moving forward to a more inclusive fashion industry is, it seems finally starting to be put on the table.