Tess Holliday: ‘Lack of change in attitude towards plus-size women is frustrating’

Tess Holliday finds it “really frustrating” that there are only ever one or two plus-size models in designer runway shows.The 32-year-old is one of the most famous curvaceous women in the industry, and is doing her utmost to aid a change in the fashion…

Tess Holliday finds it “really frustrating” that there are only ever one or two plus-size models in designer runway shows.

The 32-year-old is one of the most famous curvaceous women in the industry, and is doing her utmost to aid a change in the fashion world – to make plus-size part of the “norm”. However, while some designers, such as Christian Siriano and Kate Spade, are embracing a new outlook, others aren’t – and that was plain to see at the recent New York Fashion Week.

When asked by InStyle what watching a runway show filled with size zero models feels like, Tess replied: “When you look at the runways you see one or two plus-size models in some of the mainstream, straight-size designer shows. But we know there’s way more models than just the one or two that we’re seeing. That’s really frustrating…

“When you look at the round ups of New York Fashion Week street style, you tend to see a certain type of person represented. You’re definitely not seeing marginalised bodies and people of colour as much as you wish you were.”

And it’s not just a problem in America, but an issue with designers worldwide. Revealing her thoughts on the under-representation of plus-size women, Tess urged designers and retailers to realise the “buying power” of that market.

“I’m grateful that some of these designers are at least showing 12 and 14, but I think that it’s frustrating because I want it to be available for more plus-size women globally,” she vented. “I want to see more representation, I want to see them doing it in a really thought-provoking way and actually understanding how to dress our bodies. And yes, it is complicated, but we’re a huge percent of the market and we have so much buying power, and we’re just constantly being ignored.”

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