Glamour magazine’s decision to include Amy Schumer in its “plus-size” issue raised a lot of questions, including who is really plus-size, who gets to decide and why we pretend that the plus-size market is some kind of niche when the average American woman is a size 14. What’s clear is that the plus-size industry is about more than numbers and clothing larger bodies: It’s a movement. Much of the plus-size community thrives on social media — perhaps unsurprisingly, since mainstream fashion publications mostly pretend it doesn’t exist. Here are outlets, blogs, books, movies and events that provide a glimpse into our world.
This documentary follows the journeys of plus-size models Elly Mayday, Kerosene Deluxe and Laura Wells as they struggle against distorted body image. It also explores the term “plus size” (many models oppose it) and the lack of larger bodies in pop culture.
In a world that wants to shame them, plus-size women can express pride through social-media hashtags, including #goldenconfidence, #plusandproud, #stylehasnosize and #celebratemysize. One of the most popular is #plussizeyoga, which women use to tag photos of themselves in strikingly beautiful poses. The thread has inspired many plus-size women to begin practicing yoga, though it’s also caught the attention of plenty of people who just enjoy seeing what the body can do.
Plus Model Magazine, which has been publishing online for 10 years (I am the editor), is the source for models looking for advice on preparing for a go-see, getting signed with an agency and prepping for a model search. PMM also runs commentary on topics such as body shaming, the lack of diversity in the plus-size modeling industry and the increasingly unhealthy standards in the straight-size industry.
@RhapsoDani on Snapchat
Freelance writer Danielle Young lives a Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle (interviewing celebrities, navigating the New York dating scene) but in a body larger than a size 2. The moments she broadcasts to her 13,562 Snapchat followers are insightful, inspiring and always candid, including the time she was stood up by a date — and decided to go out dancing with her friends instead.
Writer and fashion enthusiast Marie Denee packs her blog with fashion news, inspiration, event details and essays that are almost radical in their size acceptance, including “How to Reject Those Nasty Comments About Your Weight and Looks” and one of my favorites, “5 Reasons Why Fat Girls Are Winning.”
Former plus-size model Gwen DeVoe saw a void in the fashion industry: no plus-size fashion on the runway during fashion week. So she filled it. Now FFFW draws more than 25 designers and people from all over the world to New York each year for seven days of fashion shows, blogger events and panels. The event has inspired a documentary and turned models who walked the runway into celebrities.
“Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion,” edited by Virgie Tovar
This anthology offers frank stories from plus-size women on topics from sex and travel to go-go dancing and gardening. It’s all about celebration and defying the myth that you can’t be fat and happy.