Monday April 27, 2015

#droptheplus aims to unite not divide, but critics celebrate PLUS

In the world of women's fashion, there are "plus size" models, "plus size" consumers, and "plus size" clothes. But  Yael Tygiel, who modelled for the Drop the Plus campaign, says all those pluses add up to an insulting, divisive and even absurd descriptor.

In the world of women's fashion, there are "plus size" models, "plus size" consumers, and "plus size" clothes. But Yael Tygiel, who modelled for the Drop the Plus campaign, says all those pluses add up to an insulting, divisive and even absurd descriptor. (Stefania Ferrario/Instagram)

Listen 25:04
'There is already a numeric scale from naught to thirty, maybe even beyond. We don't need any other term, and we certainly don't need plus in relation to a woman or a model.' -  Ajay Rochester, former host of Australia's 'Biggest Loser'
drop the plus graphic

 Ajay Rochester is already well-known at home in Australia, where she used to host the local version of the weight-loss reality T.V. show "Biggest Loser". But her new campaign is finding an audience around the world. It's called Drop the Plus ... as in, stop labelling clothes and models.and women, as "plus sized."

And it turns out to be a controversial, and polarizing idea. Many have come out in support of "Drop the Plus"... including Stefania Ferrario, a size 8 model, who is considered a plus size. An image that's caught fire on Instagram, shows her with her body bared... and the phrase, "I AM A MODEL FULL STOP" boldly written on her stomach.

stefania ferrario droptheplus campaign plus size models

Meanwhile, an opposing tide has been forming on social media... with its own hashtag: #keeptheplus.

Bethany Rutter

'I think #droptheplus is a vanity project. I think it was designed to make women who aren't really fat, feel better about themselves. By better, I mean not fat.'  - Bethany Rutter
  • Yael Tygiel, is a TV host and blogger, who modelled for the Drop the Plus campaign. She was in Los Angeles.
  • Bethany Rutter is a UK-based freelance writer for the British news, The Guardian and The Telegraph. She was in New York City.


The debate over whether to 'drop the plus' is being watched, not only by models, and consumers, but by those in the fashion industry. The so-called "plus sized" sector of the industry alone is valued at an estimated $17 billion dollars annually, and is growing rapidly.

Robin Kay is a fashion designer, as well as the Executive Chair of The Fashion Design Council of Canada, and the founder of Toronto Fashion Week. She was in Toronto. 
 

So what do you think? Should we do away with the "plus size" label.... or not?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Sarah Grant and Vancouverr Network Producer Anne Penman.