5. Token plus-size Models

The “token model” phenomenon happens when an ad campaign uses just ONE plus-sized model to represent the totality of “real-sized” women and then goes right back to the Twiggy template. It’s as if they are saying grudgingly: “yeah, yeah – we know you plus-sized ladies are out there. We sure don’t want to build a brand around you, but we’ll fleetingly acknowledge your existence.”

A couple of last thoughts to put it all in perspective. If we are to be fair, all models (plus-sized or not) represent some kind of ideal.

They are like you or me on a day when everything miraculously comes together—our acne is under control, our nails are done, we’ve avoided a bad hair day, and the outfit we’ve chosen happens to compliment us perfectly. These days only happen for us once in a while.

But if we as a society are claiming that we are trying to move to a fairer, more inclusive vision of women’s beauty, we have to let go of the ideal of perfection and embrace our flaws. Because flaws are what make us interesting—and that’s what true beauty is about.

So come on, plus-sized industry! Get on board!

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