Vintage ads gone bad: Fat fashion models were never fat

Posted at 5:00 PM Mar 29, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

The plus size question in fashion, to my mind, is this: when will designers and advertisers actually show women who are legitimately "plus-sized," if that even means anything, instead of pretending like conventionally thin and specifically shaped women are fat? Indeed, we know with some certainty that the models used to market "plus-sized" fashion today are, well, hardly pluses at all. In fact, most of them are around a size 12, giving the impression that there are two sizes which all ladies do (or should) fit into: thin (the best!) and "plus sized" (absolutely normal or average.)

And this is nothing new, per this 1933 Lane Bryant ad posted today on the VintageAds community:

There's plenty to find problematic about it, not least of which is the question of why "stout" women have to be "slenderized," which is often the way plus-sized fashion is still advertised today. Instead of celebrating the many lovely body shapes of women everywhere, the impetus is to convince women that, even if they're "stout," they should still seriously aspire to a particular ideal. What a wonderful world it would be if fashion was about fabulous expression instead of "slenderizing."


TsaphanBabe said:


For what it's worth, I was just looking into becoming a "plus sized" model (I'm maybe a 14 or 16 depending on the clothes) and even there the women need to be at a minimum 5' 8".

Gag. I was hoping that someone real like me who likes having my photo taken (new to admitting that, frankly) could do some good in a weird way...

Kiala said:

Yes! Also this is why I try to only look at wardrobe remix to decide on outfits that I might like. It makes me feel less stabby and eating disordered.

website design said:

Lol - this is one of the most hilarious news I ever read

Bex said:

Heyy... Ive just started blogging and was searching about vintage fashion and your page came up.. would love it if you'd have a look at my blog/follow me. its basically a lot of fashion/ranting/pondering life?! xx

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