Does Myla look too big to be a straight-size model?
Picture this. You’re a size 12, and you want to be a model. You head to a ‘straight size’ agency, and they tell you to lose weight. You go and see a ‘plus size’ agency, and they tell you to gain weight. There’s no-one willing to represent you unless you change your body type, and now you’re annoyed.
There’s a growing problem in the fashion industry right now, and it has to do with ‘inbetweeners’ – models who are stuck in the middle of plus and straight size, with nowhere to work. With sample sizes too small for their sizes, but plus size brands looking for bigger proportions, these perfectly healthy girls are kind of being forgotten about.
The girl on everyone's lips right now? Myla Dalbesio, who starred in her Calvins for Klein's underwear campaign back in 2014. Somewhere along the line, this campaign has been brought back on social media and tagged as plus-size, which, as Myla is a size 10, hasn't gone down to well... Calvin Klein never actually referred to Myla as plus-size, but her statement is pretty clear:
THE BODY ISSUE ~ I don't know how or why but I guess this topic is inexplicably trending in relation to me once again, so I'm going to address it quickly. I am not plus size. I have never been plus size. Which is confusing, I understand, because for the first 8 years of my modeling career, that is the segment of the industry that I worked in and the board at my (former) agency that I was signed to. Why is that? Because 10 years ago, when I started modeling, no "straight size" board would sign anyone above a size 2-4 (and even size 4 was pushing it). Working under that label was the only way I could work. Luckily, things have changed in that regard. I am happily on the main board at @nextmodels, which does not distinguish any difference in size or shape of it's models, just represents them as they are, without labels. How things have shifted in the past decade! And what is even more glorious is the amount of successful models of all shapes and sizes that we see in major media now. Luckily for the people saying that I am "not plus size enough" to be working, they have amazing role models they can look up to that may represent someone closer to themselves. Girls like @theashleygraham, @taralynn, @palomija and @jojacalled inspire me constantly. But I also think it is important for women that are my size to see themselves represented. Let's not begrudge them (or me) for that. One of the reasons I post naked selfies is because I want other women to see that their own bodies are both normal and beautiful. I remember a scene in Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene, where Elizabeth Olsen took her clothes off, and I felt like I saw myself in her body, something that I rarely, if ever, saw represented in mainstream Hollywood. It made me feel good, almost like I was better understood. Can we all just work on understanding each other? Body shaming, whether it be too fat, too skinny, too athletic, etc. is unfair for all. We all want to be healthy, we all want to be beautiful, we all want to belong. I DESERVE TO BE REPRESENTED AND YOU DO TOO. We all do. And we all can be, if we start encouraging and supporting one another instead of picking each other apart #rantover #bodytalk
A plus size sensation Tess Holliday told us, ‘there needs to be a bigger voice for the inbetweeners. They're the ones that get the brunt of a lot of people's frustration because they get stuck on to the tail end of plus size but then straight size doesn't want to use them because they're “too big”, which I think is stupid’
And it’s not just models who are having trouble categorising their body types. Look at Amy Schumer; the actress was featured in a magazine’s plus-size section, even though plus-size is generally considered to be above a size 16, and Amy wears a size 8-10. ‘I think there's nothing wrong with being plus size. Beautiful healthy women’, Amy wrote on her Instagram, ‘[This] doesn't feel right to me. Young girls seeing my body type thinking that is plus size? What are your thoughts? Mine are ‘not cool’’.
Lena Dunham also spoke out for her friend, telling People ‘I think fashion should be for women and it should be for all women. I think Amy's entire thing is trying to sort of like break down barriers and be bold about her own opinions. She was trying to do was stand up for women and say we're not supposed be categorised in this role, we're supposed to just be allowed to exist’.
We have to say, we agree with Lena. As curve model Sabina Karlsson told us, ‘an actress doesn’t define herself as a plus size actress!’, so why should models, and why should women? Isn’t it about time we just let ourselves and our sizes be what they are, without having to label it? Let us know what you think below.
While we're at it, should fashion go gender-neutral?