Calvin Klein’s Plus-Size Model Is A Size 10, Internet Eye Rolls In Response
You know what’s sure to get the internet pissed off? When a fashion designer uses a “plus-size model” and she is a size 8/10. That’s what’s going on today with Calvin Klein, who hired plus-size model Myla Dalbesio as the face of their new Perfectly Fit campaign. But plus-size, by fashion industry standards, starts at a size 12. If this is what we’re calling plus size these days, then what does that make the rest of us? Super-duper-mega-ginormies?
I say this with no disrespect to Myla, who by all accounts seems really rad (and looks GORG in these pics). She’s spoken openly about her struggles with body image and eating issues and told Elle that getting the Calvin Klein gig was “such a surreal moment. I cried.” In fact, she seems straight up awesome in this incredibly moving video, in which she discusses fashion, art, porn, sexuality, slut-shaming, and her addiction to pills as a result of “body issues” and pressure to lose weight. Yes, Myla is f*cking kick-ass.
It is awesome that a woman who is not all skin and bones just landed a major ad campaign. And while the internet is furious at Calvin Klein, they never touted her as plus-size or drew any attention to her size at all. In fact, Myla herself said, “It’s not like [Calvin Klein] released this campaign and were like ‘Whoa, look, there’s this plus size girl in our campaign.’ They released me in this campaign with everyone else; there’s no distinction. It’s not a separate section for plus size girls.”
But the rage on social media still has a point and purpose. In the video Myla describes herself as an “in-betweenie,” too big to be “straight size,” (0-2) but “not large enough to be considered plus-size.” When the average woman is a size 14, what does it say about our culture that plus-size starts at size 12, and “regular” models are size 0-2?
Wait, I can answer that: It says we are royally screwed up in our thinking about women’s bodies. I’m glad Myla is someone who is helping to change that, but the fashion industry needs to get on board in a honest and meaningful way too. Yes, this is a tiny step in the right direction, but now they needs to run a marathon instead of taking two steps back. And saying “But this is just how the fashion world is!” is a lame excuse. So don’t even try it.
(Photo: Calvin Klein)