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The Bigger View That’s Reshaping Fashion’s Health Standard
Los Angeles, CA – March 1, 2007 – The fashion industry has been on the hot seat lately for pushing an unhealthy thin size. Well, it seems that healthy shapes on the other end of the size spectrum have also been ignored by the industry’s beauty machine. Plus size clothing-makers have on the most part offered baggy, large around the mid-section fits, mainly on the premise that larger sizes are for obese women. Negative media portrayals of larger women have also promoted this unhealthy image. However, a closer look at real Plus shapes reveal “hourglass” curves and overall shapes that would be considered by most standards to be healthy.
Missphit, a Los Angeles clothing line that focuses on trendy styles solely for Plus women sized 14 – 24, provides cuts that acknowledges and maximizes these shapes. “Yes, our target demographic requires a larger fit but for many, that is just their natural body size. They are active and healthy, with shapes that call for fits that show off the curves – not cover them up,” says Yul Kwon, founder and partner of Missphit. Missphit’s rapid success may suggest that there’s more to these shapes than just a niche size segment. The 1 year-old line is now sold nationwide in Dillard’s department stores as well as trendy boutiques across North America and Europe.
There’s also a strong feeling among many Plus women that these curvy shapes may indeed be the ideal “healthy” size. Many Plus women feel their god-given shapes are not to be tampered with and that it’s more detrimental to the body to live a lifestyle that tries to attain the unattainable. “I never had the 6/8 (size) potential, try as I might. I could only be a very slim 11/12 at the very best, or worst. I probably did more to wreck my metabolism for life in those days. I probably even screwed up my reproductive system as I was never able to conceive later in life. I was not ever going to be the right body type, and it was killing me, literally,” says Catherine Schuller, a former model recalling her early attempts to fit fashion’s “health” standards. Catherine, of course, later found her natural calling as a Plus model and now as the founder of fashion consulting firm CurveStyle.
By most accounts, the average American woman wears a size 14, the start of fashion’s Plus size range. Also, the average woman is about 5 foot 4 inches and weighs around 140 pounds. This translates into a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 24. The US Department of Health & Human Services’ range for a healthy BMI is 19-24. Obesity starts at a BMI of 30 and up. So, though Plus women on the higher end of the BMI scale may run higher risks of health diseases, the many different shapes of Plus women and the healthiness of these shapes is determined by the individual. This is something many curvy women have been preaching all along. Now with the fashion industry questioning it’s standards of beauty, the curvy customer can play a part in re-shaping these ideals and not the other way around.
Missphit is a clothing company that designs fashion-forward styles specifically for the Plus woman. More information on Missphit can be found at www.missphit.com
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