The debate and chat on size continues with many within the industry wanting to change the term plus size to curvy and/or full figure. Tyra Banks (Model) has also recently commented that a better term to describe plus size would be ‘Fiercely Real’. She propounds that it has more punch and attempts to describe the way that plus size women feel about themselves.
I love all these descriptors and the positive tones and moods that they attempt to create. The problem however is that the terms curvy and full-figure say nothing about size – both terms suggest shape whilst Tyra Bank’s new preferred definition ‘Fiercely Real’ suggests attitude; albeit an attitude that I would applaud. Plus size women have every right to have beautiful and well made clothes in a range of sizes and fits to suit them all They are and deserve to be ‘in the room’ as well. I also agree that when we talk about size and fit of clothes for plus size women that we have a respectful and complementary way to refer to this size.
If we are talking about a fit or size of clothes it must be categorised and described in terms and a range that consumers understand, using size and fit as category boundaries. In sizing clothes we take measurements in waist and chest size, dress length, and inside leg length. For this reason we categorise size/fit as Petite (to describe a category of clothes fitting women of 5’4″ and smaller), Standard Size (to describe a category of clothes in sizes 8 – 14), and Plus Size (to describe a category of clothes from sizes 16 – 26). Sizes upwards from a 28 are described as Super Size.
What size is curvy? What is the range of sizes that ‘Fiercely Real‘ go up to? Here are 3 examples of beautiful curvy women of different sizes. The first is Gemma Collins, the second is a young tall model called Peaches (5’10”) and the third is Christina, a petite model (both Peaches and Christina qualified through to the Finals of the Ms Curvaceous UK 2013 in London recently). Gemma Collins is a UK size 20, whilst Peaches and Christina are a UK size 12. All three are examples of super sexy and curvy/full figured women. Gemma Collins is a public figure so many will know that the attitude of this woman is also ‘Fiercely Real’. They are however all different sizes of curvy. What they all have in common is that they are plus size (models). In other words their dimensions are above standard size in some way. However not all plus size women are necessarily Curvy.
I therefore cannot see the problem with describing sizes above Standard Size as Plus Size. The term Plus Size is all embracing and includes all shapes of women, to include those that are Curvy/Full Figured and/or Fiercely Real. It is a nice, soft, short and inoffensive term to describe sizes in addition to or greater than standard size. The description is Neat and does not need amending nor any more time spent on rethinking or redesigning something that already describes in terms of size, is fit for purpose and understood globally.