Plus-size models spark health debate at Sydney Fashion Festival

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Mink Denim

Australian department store Myer hosted a Big is Beautiful show during Sydney’s Fashion Festival yesterday, hiring plus-size girls to model outfits by various labels.

But while some girls looked healthy modelling sizes 16 to 24, others appeared somewhat overweight.

Adopting the slogan ‘Big is Beautiful’, and thus encouraging women to remain unhealthy, could be classed as almost as harmful as promoting the controversial ‘size zero.’

The show has sparked an online debate as The Australian journalist Damian Woolbough branded the choice of models ‘irresponsible.’

Damian wrote:There is a place for women of all sizes in the fashion media, as seen by the positive response to a plus-size shoot with Lawley in this month’s Vogue Australia, but obese models send just as irresponsible a message about the need for healthy eating and exercise as models with protruding clavicles and ribcages.’


the post received a series of comments from readers defending Myer’s move.

And Tam Fry from the National Obesity Forum warned the dangers of seeing skinny models on the runway far outweigh the message that plus-sized girls send.

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What I find so interesting is that Mr. Woolbough was so moved by idea of the damaging effect that the images of these portly women walking the runways might have on have on women, he felt the need to express it publicly. I find it more interesting that when I searched Google for quotes from Mr. Woolbough regarding thin models been an irresponsible images, I came up with a blank. It seems like the spirit of compunction on this subject only stuck him when he saw mounds of flesh strutting down the catwalk. I get the sneaking suspicion that Mr. Woolbough was less worried about the message as he was personally disturbed by seeing women with  mass modelling. I think he was offended, it offended his sensibilities to see not just curvy women, (who, even thought heavier than the norm could be considered by some as “sexy” if and when the extra falls in the right places) but obese women, women whose forms should not be seen in conjunction with fashion, and certainly should not be walking with pride down a runway for all to see!! As if seeing a heavyset woman walking down a runway is really going to make people start eating excessively!!! Where was he his out rage during all of the fashion weeks weeks when hundreds of underweight models teeter down runways looking painfully malnutrition? What Mr. Woolbough dingo got your tongue? It’s hypocritical! Once again weight and size have nothing to do with health, it is fallacious and ignorant to say so, as it has been medically proven.

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