24 March 2010

Do Plus Size Clothes Encourage Us To Let Ourselves Go?

Australian designer Rosemary Masic who runs fashion label Nevenka has gone against the current trend for curves, by announcing she will cap her clothes range at a size 14, as anything bigger ‘endorses an unhealthy lifestyle’.

‘I am very passionate about life and serious about health,’ said Rosemary,  ‘it is the most important thing we have and we should respect and look after our bodies. Size 16 and size 18 is not a healthy size to be.’

However, as in the UK, the average Aussie woman is a size 14/16 – so Neveda’s range won’t cater for the majority of the nation.  

It’s also unclear whether the same rule applies at the other end of the size scale. Currently, Neveda still stocks size 6 – which some see as an equally unhealthy example.  

Though the designer says it’s all for the good of our health, not everyone in the medical industry agrees.

‘We live in a society that is obsessed with thinness,’ said Julie Parker of the Butterfly Foundation – a support group for those with body issues, ‘often people mistakenly believe you must be thin to be healthy. There are many women above a size 14 who are very healthy.’

‘If they can't find clothing that meets their needs it can have a negative impact on their self-esteem and their self-worth because it sends a message that “you're not acceptable, you're not OK, you're not attractive enough to wear our clothes, and you need to change,” when in fact it's the designers and the industry that need to change.’

With plus size models and mannequins the marketing strategy du jour, Nevenka’s taking a big risk, going against the grain. Do you think capping clothes sizes will encourage women to choose salad over fries. Or, is it just as unhealthy to ban plus sizes from the high street?

By Amy Molloy

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